“In Common: New Approaches with Romare Bearden,” proudly presented by The New School, is set to authentically engage art enthusiasts, esteemed scholars and activists alike with an exhibition, three-day symposium, and a forthcoming publication that will offer new insights into the multifaceted legacy of the influential artist, social activist, and scholar.

This exhibition draws from the extensive Romare Bearden Foundation collection and other private collections. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore a carefully curated selection of Bearden’s works, providing a window into his keen exploration of race and racial stereotypes. Bearden’s art often drew inspiration from “history, literature, the Bible, jazz,” and the vibrant communities of African Americans who influenced his visionary works. In Common will also feature works by six contemporary artists: Black Quantum Futurism, Kahlil Robert Irving, Lorraine O’Grady, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, and Charisse Pearlina Weston. These artists, both established and emerging, have visions that resonate with Bearden’s, offering a compelling multigenerational dialogue on the political agency of art.

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Co-organized by prestigious institutions including the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy; the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, Schools of Public Engagement at The New School, the Romare Bearden Foundation, and the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. This collaborative initiative reveals the many facets and dimensions of Bearden’s art and contributions to art and society.

The exhibition, after opening November 9, will be at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery in the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, 66 5th Avenue, through January 15, 2024.

The three-day symposium, “In Common: Romare Bearden and New Approaches to Art, Race & Economy” will include:

Day One: The Power of Purposeful Creativity

Thursday, November 30, 2023

6:00-8:00PM EST

Wollman Hall, 5th Floor

Day Two: The Artist as Activist

Friday, December 1, 2023


Starr Foundation: UL-102

Day Three: Art and Public Engagement

Saturday, December 2, 2023


Wollman Hall, 5th Floor

The symposium is free and open to the public, with pre-registration required. For more info and to pre-register, visit www.event.newschool.edu/incommon-symposium.

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