Lithograph on cream wove paper, circa 1937-40. 317x419 mm; 12 1/2x16 1/2 inches, wide margins. Signed in pencil, lower right.
This is an extremely scarce print and a new discovery - this is the earliest print by Romare Bearden that we have located. This print is to be included in the upcoming catalogue raisonnè published by Jerald Melberg and the Romare Bearden Foundation.
This lithograph is a striking view of an industrial landscape likely found in Pittsburgh - Romare Bearden's childhood home. This lithograph shares many elements of the WPA-era work by many of his contemporaries like Norman Lewis, Bob Blackburn and Ronald Joseph. This print also shares the stylization and forms found in many of Bearden's illustations for the Baltimore African-American newspaper in 1936-37 - in particular, another industrial scene illustrated in Myron Schwartzman on p. 77. In addition, the composition has stylistic and compostional elements found in other Bearden works - the passing train and the crowding of forms along the horizon are similar to other early landscapes of his.