Friday, May 21, 2010

The Block

Romare Bearden's "The Block," an 18-feet long collage of a Harlem street scene, is on view at the Metropolitan Museum: in delicate condition, it can be displayed for only a few weeks at a time, but is still a vibrant, chaotic rendering of the lives of a busy street.

Bearden is seen below (at right) with friend Albert Murray (left) on the balcony from which he viewed Lenox Avenue between 132nd and 133rd Streets, the block that inspired him. He made the work in 1971 using cut and pasted printed, colored and metallic papers, photostats, pencil, ink marker, gouache, watercolor, and pen and ink. There's a great Met web site specifically for this work of art.