"Something Over Something Else"
Romare Bearden's Profile Series
- PUBLISHED: September 2019
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art History / African American Art, Art / Painting
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 152 Pages, 10 x 11 in, 108 color illus.
- ISBN: 9780295746432
In November 1977, The New Yorker published a feature-length biography of artist Romare Bearden by Calvin Tomkins as part of its “Profiles” series. The essay, titled Profile: Putting Something Over Something Else (using Bearden’s words to describe the creative process), brought national focus to Bearden, whose rise had seemed meteoric since the late 1960s.
The experience of the interview prompted Bearden to launch an autobiographical collection he called Profiles. He sequenced the project in two parts: Part I, The Twenties, featuring memories from his youth in the South and in Pittsburgh, and Part II, The Thirties, about his early adult life in New York. Bearden collaborated with friend and writer Albert Murray on a short statement to accompany each piece. These appeared scripted onto the walls of the Profile exhibition to lead viewers on a visual and poetic journey.
This landmark volume reassembles and reconsiders Bearden’s Profile series. Beyond providing the opportunity to explore an understudied body of work, the project will investigate the roles of narrative and self-presentation for an artist who made a career of creating works based on memory and experience. It will also reveal Bearden’s own gestures away from the autobiographical and toward a broader view.
Authors & Contributors
"Something Over Something Else" is published in conjunction with the exhibit of the same name, coming to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, September 14, 2019–January 5, 2020, and the Cincinnati Museum of Art, February 28–May 24, 2020.