Bearden, in Good Company

Romare Bearden's
Romare Bearden's "Memories of High Cotton," at Zenith Gallery. (Zenith Gallery)
By Jessica Dawson
Friday, September 14, 2007

Washington collectors Stuart and Julia Bloch show the spoils of their 35-year collecting habit at Zenith, where important works by five major African American artists hang in the intimate downtown space. The pleasure starts at the door, where a small painting by Alma Thomas greets you with Color School vibrancy. From there, the staggering talent of Romare Bearden takes over. He's represented here by some of the strongest collages I've seen. Check out his 1977 "Memories of High Cotton" and the 1975 "Indigo Snake" to see just how lively his technique can be. Also on view, Robert Freeman's massive paintings of African American night life, including the monumental "The Choice," where figures emerge above a swath of black paint. Sorry, collectors, nothing's for sale.

"The Freedom Place Collection" at Zenith Gallery, 413 Seventh St. NW, Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m., 202-783-2963, to Sept. 30;

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