Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations, opening February 11 at Mint Museum Uptown, explores the shared interests of Romare Bearden and Pablo Picasso in one exhibition. The exhibition is an exciting additional narrative to Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds, also on view February 11–May 21, 2023 at the Charlotte museum. Bearden is a Charlotte native.
Curated by Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum, Bearden/Picasso: Rhythms and Reverberations includes three loaned works by Picasso and 17 by Bearden, many drawn from the Mint’s rich holding, as well as special loans from other museums and private collections. While Bearden’s later collages and prints comprise a majority of the exhibition, nearly half of the works are of his the artist’s rarely seen early paintings from the 1940s — a period when he was immersed in the New York art world and a time when Picasso was frequently exhibiting there.
The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections. The first theme considers the two artists’ shared interest in imagery of bulls and bullfighting. The second explores the importance of music and rhythm as both subject matter and a way of creating a dynamic composition. The third theme considers their shared interest in interior scenes and their use of doorways and windows as compositional devices, and the fourth looks at each artist’s use of black outlines defining simplified, brightly colored forms, called the “stained glass” aesthetic.
“On the surface, it might seem odd to organize an exhibition that brings together the work of American artist Romare Bearden and Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, as it might seem the two have little in common, however there has rightly been some notice of the relationship between the two artists’ works,” Stuhlman says. “Discussions have primarily centered upon the comparison of their shared subject matter of folk musicians and the impact of Cubism on Bearden’s approach to collage, a relationship that he himself acknowledged, and each artist’s use of African masks in their art. While these are important and valid connections, this exhibition seeks to add additional points of aesthetic and intellectual overlap and shared interest to the story.”
On March 18 from 2 to 4 PM, the Mint will host “An Afternoon Salon: Romare Bearden and Modernism” at Mint Museum Uptown featuring Richard Powell, PhD, Duke University professor and Romare Bearden Foundation advisor; Denise Murrell, PhD, curator-at-large at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and moderator Diedra Harris-Kelley, co-director of the Romare Bearden Foundation, who will discuss the life and works of Romare Bearden. Admission is $10 for the salon and to see Bearden/Picasso and Picasso Landscapes; or $5 for the salon and general admission to the museum.
Exhibition Ticket Information
Price of admission is $25 for adults; $20 for seniors 65 and older; $10 members and college students with ID, and includes general museum admission and admission to Picasso Landscapes: Out of Bounds.
Children ages 17 and younger and art teachers are admitted free of charge. Tickets are available for advance purchase at mintmuseum.org/ticketing.
For exhibition hours, visit mintmuseum.org.
The Mint Museum
Established in 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum, The Mint Museum is a leading, innovative cultural institution and museum of international art and design. With two locations — Mint Museum Randolph in the heart of Eastover and Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts — the Mint boasts one of the largest collections in the Southeast and is committed to engaging and inspiring members of the global community.