Romare Bearden, Eastern Barn, 1968. Collage of paper on board, 55 1/2 × 44 in. (141 × 111.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase 69.14
Art © Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA
, New York, NY
To make his artwork, Romare Bearden cut out pieces of paper, photographs, magazine pictures, and fabric. He arranged them on paper or board then glued them down to make collages
. Bearden’s art often tells stories about African American life. In this collage, two men and a woman sit together in a barn, perhaps on a break from work. Bearden’s subjects seem large compared to the space that they occupy. There are shifts in scale
, too—heads, hands, and feet are bigger or smaller in proportion to the bodies they belong to, and pairs of hands are mixed and matched in different sizes.
The man on the left whose clothes are painted mostly in flat gray seems to almost merge into the background
. Notice where Bearden has used collage to create a three-dimensional
effect, such as the bird that the man on the left holds in his hands and the eggs that are in a bowl or basket next to the woman.