Romare Bearden, Soul Three, collage, 1968, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas.
Recognized as one of the most creative and original visual artists of the twentieth century, Romare Bearden had a prolific and distinguished career encompassing a broad range of intellectual and scholarly interests, including music, performing arts, history, literature, and world art. Born in the American South, raised in New York, and married into a Caribbean family, Bearden was a veteran of WWII that returned to Europe in 1950 to study philosophy and art history at the Sorbonne.
Here in Soul Three Bearden created three musicians, playing music at home. The figures’ faces are constructed from fragments of African masks and the varied clothing seem to illustrate the multiple identities that black men and women need to assume in order to survive in a predominantly white America.