V

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Aaron Douglas

City Scape, 1956

Watercolor on paper

14.5" x 19.5"


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City Scape

Although Aaron Douglas is best known for his monochromatic compositions, often inspired by Art Deco and Egyptian influences, he never abandoned the portraits and landscapes that were based on the European art traditions he learned early in his academic career. In one such work, City Scape, Douglas utilized a Post-Impressionist optical analysis of color while carefully delineating his freely drawn composition to capture the vitality of black urban life. This tranquil and romantic scene of black urban life likely reflects Douglas's lifelong and sentimental connections to the New York urban experience of his early career. Although by 1937 he had moved permanently to Nashville, Tennessee, he maintained his Harlem apartment at 409 Edgecombe Avenue until a few years prior to his death.  T. F.

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