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Early Morning By Romare Bearden

Selected by Dread Scott

Bearden explored the range and complexity of life and he paid particular attention to the lives of Black people in America. I like Early Morning, 1964 because the collage is both enigmatic and evocative. The figure in the foreground is very serious and determined as he sits, fork in hand, for what appears to be a too small breakfast. The relation with the two other figures is unclear, but there seems to be a weight on all of them. Formally, I really like the half figure in the background. Bearden’s use of edges and corners of a frame expands the focus beyond a simple narrative about the central foreground figure.

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