First off, with its nearly 50 art works by Bearden, it's got a desired heft and scope. Secondly, it's the first ever, comprehensive presentation of Bearden's work to be seen outside of New York City. Thirdly, it shows the artist tackling one of the more daunting themes in the canon of art subjects: Homer's Odyssey. And finally, the multi-media show includes a 15-minute video containing rarely seen footage and interviews with the artist.
The exhibit will reveal Bearden to be an American artist with a rare mastery of not only prints and watercolors, but, more importantly, collage as the disparate art forms and platforms for his signature blending of color. It also illuminates an artist with such a fearless approach to his craft that he based an entire chapter of his output around arguably the grandest work in classical mythology -- and constructed a provocative link between it and African-American history and culture.
The Carter is also determined to elevate the appreciation of the Bearden show by integrating a panoply of digital apps, accessible through any web-compatible device such as a tablet or smartphone. One of the iPad's apps even allows patrons to create from whole digital cloth various art works by manipulating Bearden's various collages. That app goes by the name: "Romare Bearden: Black Odyssey Remixes."
Details: Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey -- Through August 11. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth. Admission: free.
Looking ahead, the Carter has also announced its slate of Fall, 2013 exhibitions and it includes Color! American Photography Transformed which surveys how fine art color photography has been elevated to fully acknowledged high art status. Beginning in late September, the Carter will also offer John Albok's Neighborhood, displaying some of his personal photographic chronicle of the artist's neighborhood, with special emphasis on the children he saw. And October brings Hotel Texas: An Art Exhibition for the President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy which, in marking the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, the Carter will reassemble almost all of the works that were initially delivered and exhibited in the president's Hotel Texas suite. This original collection of works was initially curated by Ruth Carter Stevenson, the former president of the Amon Carter board, who passed away this year. Finally in October, the Carter will mark the 100th anniversary of the death of the Mexican artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada, with Hombre! Prints by Jose Guadalupe Posada, a show of in excess of 50 of Posada's signature male figures. On view will be Posada's special rogue's gallery of lovers and matadors, fugitives, demons and outlaws.