Quotes by Artist Romare Bearden


“Artists have this desire for a vision of the world… There’s some painting someplace that’s not in a museum and it’s your idea as a painter to put that one thing that is missing there.”

“But no one, when you stop to think, has ever equated abstract expressionism as a movement with jazz music. It’s based on improvisation. The rhythms, the personal involvement, all of this is part of the jazz experience.”

“Every artist wants his work to be permanent. But what is? The Aswan Dam covered some of the greatest art in the world. Venice is sinking. Great books and pictures were lost in the Florence floods. In the meantime we still enjoy butterflies.”

“If you’re any kind of artist, you make a miraculous journey, and you come back and make some statements in shapes and colors of where you were.”

“Painting and art cannot be taught. You can save time if someone tells you to put blue and yellow together to make green, but the essence of painting is a self-disciplined activity that you have to learn by yourself.”


“Painting is the act of discovery and you’re constantly enlarging your horizon or finding yourself every time you paint.”

“Practically all great artists accept the influence of others. But… the artist with vision… by integrating what he has learned with his own experiences… molds something distinctly personal.”

“The artist confronts chaos. The whole thing of art is, how do you organize chaos?”

“The artist has to be something like a whale swimming with his mouth wide open, absorbing everything until he has what he really needs.”

“The function of the artist is to organize the facets of life according to his imagination.”

“The most difficult object in painting is yourself because you’re always at issue…”

“You put down one color and it calls for an answer. You have to look at it like a melody.”

“What you don’t need is just as important as what you do need.”



The Painter’s Keys. (2014). Romare Bearden Art Quotes. Retrieved February 21, 2014 from http://artquotes.robertgenn.com/auth_search.php?authid=2121

October Gallery. (1970-2014). Romare Bearden Art Quotes. Retrieved February 21, 2014 from http://octobergallery.com/2012/03/06/romare-bearden-art-quotes/

Moanerplicity. (2012). Romare Bearden.[Photograph]. Retrieved from http://lmross-moanerplicities.blogspot.com/2012/02/honoring-romare-bearden-harlem.html

I Need Art and Coffee. They Keep Me Sane. (2012). Influences: Romare Bearden. [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://ineedartandcoffee.blogspot.com/2010/06/influences-romare-bearden.html

Jerry Jazz Musician. (2013). The Art of Romare Bearden. [Photograph]. Retrieved from http://www.jerryjazzmusician.com/2013/02/the-art-of-romare-bearden/


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