Bearden 100

#58 Mecklenburg Autumn-The China Lamp - 1983
By Romare Bearden

Selected by Margaret Rose Vendryes,

Mecklenburg Autumn-The China Lamp - 1983

Mecklenberg Autumn - The China Lamp (1983) is both exotic and erotic because of Bearden’s use of rich warm colors that engulfs the dark-skinned nude in its own light.
Bearden is revered as an adept storyteller of the African American experience, but I see his use of the black female nude in his art as more personal offering deeper autobiographical information than other works.

Margaret Rose Vendryes,

PhD, Artist/Art historian/Curator
Living and working in Brookline, MA

Anang Tammi - African Diva, 2010, Oil & cold wax on canvas and paper, 30 x 30 inches

Margaret Rose Vendryes holds a Princeton University doctorate in art history.  She was tenured faculty at York College and the Graduate Center of CUNY and continues to teach and write as an independent scholar while maintaining a full-time studio practice.  Vendryes has been adjunct faculty at Wellesley College and Boston University.
About the African Diva Project:
Each square canvas in my African Diva Project is modeled after a 12-inch LP album cover featuring a portrait of a popular black female soloist. Every Diva wears an African mask, chosen for its character and/or aesthetic compatibility to her image. The mask is painted on paper and applied to the canvas. In Africa, masks (many depicting powerful female deities or ancestors) are worn almost exclusively by men. I give these dynamic African American female performers agency and protection replacing their psychological mask with a literal one. Their songs – messages that once rose out of vinyl channels like black magic – are inscribed in the color field that surrounds them. The series, which will be complete by the end of 2012, includes 33 1/3 paintings.