Label Text: Having lived most of his life in New York creating images of southern life, Bearden spent much of his last two decades living on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, where he would make more than 400 Caribbean works including sketches, drawings, paintings and collages like the Blue Pool, which is part of his The Rain Forest series. The title in both English and French reflects the Caribbean context of this collage. Bearden often spoke of the Caribbean's unique and powerful energy, here visualized in vivid blues, lush greens and the luminous and cloudy textures often seen in his watercolor paintings.
Romare Bearden is known for his intelligent and improvisational approach to art making. One of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Bearden’s home was a major gathering place during the Harlem Renaissance. Inspired by artists who challenged the conventions of painting, literature, music, dance and theater, Bearden pioneered respect for collage as both a representational and documentary form of high art. In 1963, together with colleagues and friends, Bearden founded Spiral, an African American artist collective. His work creates an ongoing dialogue between tradition and innovation.