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The paintings of Romare Bearden (1914-1988) represent a [#permalink]
08 Aug 2005, 07:26
The paintings of Romare Bearden (1914-1988) represent a double truimph. At the same time that Bearden's work reflects a lifelong commitment to perfecting the innovative painting techniques he pioneered, it also reveals an artist engaged in a search for ways to explore the varieties of African-American experience.
By presenting secne, character and atmosphere using a unique layered and fragmented style that combines elements of painting with elements of collage, Bearden suggested some of the ways in which commonplace subjects could be forced to undergo a metamorphosis when filtered through the techniques available to the resourceful artist. Bearden knew that regardless of individual painters' personal histories, tastes, or points of view, they must pay their craft the respect of approaching through an acute awareness of the resources and limitations of the form to which they have dedicated their creative energies.
But how did Bearden, so passionately dedicated to solving the more advanced problems of his painting technique, also succeed so well at portraying the realities of African-American life? During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Bearden painted scenes of hardships of the period; the work was powerful, the scenes grim and brooding. Through his depiction of the unemployed in New York's Harlem he was able to move beyond the usual "protest painting" of the period to reveal instances of individual human suffering. His human figures, placed in abstract yet mysteriously familiar urban settings, managed to express the complex social reality lying beyond the borders of the canvas without compromising their integrity as elements in an artistic composition. Another important element of Bearden's compositions was his use of muted colors, such as dark blues and purples, to suggest moods of melancholy or despair. While functioning as part of the overall design, these colors also served as symbols of the psychological efects of debilitating social processes.
During the same period, he also painted happier scenes - depictions of religous ceremony, musical performance, and family life - and instilled them with the same vividness that he applied to his scenes of suffering. Bearden sought in his work to reveal in all its fullness a world long hidden by the cliches of sociology and rendered cloudy by the simplifications of journalism and documentary photography. Where any number of painters have tried to project the "prose" of Harlem, bearden concentrated on releasing its poetry - its family rituals and its ceremonies of affirmation and celebration. His work insists that we truly see the African-American experience in depth, using the fresh light of his creative vision. Through an act of artistic will, he created strange visual harmonies out of the mosaic of the African-American experience, and in doing so reflected the multiple rhythms, textures, and mysteries of life.
Here is the question:
According to the passage, human figures in Bearden's paintings do all the following EXCEPT:
a) serve as particular examples of human hardship
b) suggest circumstances outside the explicit subject of the paintings
c) function as aspects of an artistic composition
d) symbolize emotions or psychological states
e) inhabit abstract but recogniable physical settings.
Do you guys go off of memory based on what you read in the passage? Or do you verify every AC to ensure that its referred to in the passage? What if information about "human figures" is "dispersed" across the entire passage? Say about 75% of the passage talks about it.
One way to solve 'EXCEPT' type of question is to find the evidence. If lucky, we can find specific mentioning of the exceptional case as in this example. In this type of details question, it is easier to confirm or exclude one fact - way too time-consuming to confirm or exclude four others.
I'm not sure i understand what you mean. The "except" OA will not be in the passage because that is the only choice which isnt mentioned in the passage. So of the 5 ACs 4 ACs are embedded in the passage somewhere. Pls elaborate on your technique.
The question is "According to the passage, human figures in Bearden's paintings do all the following EXCEPT:", therefore, if the passage specifically
mentions that Bearden's painting is not something, isn't it the same as saying it is all EXCEPT ... ?
The question is "According to the passage, human figures in Bearden's paintings do all the following EXCEPT:", therefore, if the passage specifically mentions that Bearden's painting is not something, isn't it the same as saying it is all EXCEPT ... ?
Well I thought the following excerpt from the passage "Bearden painted scenes of hardships of the period; the work was powerful, the scenes grim and brooding. Through his depiction of the unemployed in New York's Harlem he was able to move beyond the usual "protest painting" of the period to reveal instances of individual human suffering"
To me the phrases/verbiage bolded equates to AC A. Therfore i eliminated AC A.
I'd like to get more perspective on how you solve Except questions. I've always had to rely on my memory. If i dont remember reading about something i know that is the AC. However this methodlogy is NOT very effcient coz you cant except to remember everything you read/peruse.
But its equally inefficient to go back to the passage and see if each AC is included in the passage or not.
Ranga41, Christop, darth, himalaya, ban and anyone else would you please care to share your methodology for these EXCEPT type of questions.
D. Well, when I read the passage the first time, I quickly glance thru it. My objective at the first reading is to understand the primary purpose and the main idea of the passage. I quickly note the role of each para without goin into the details of it. All the data at the first reading are X's to me.
For questions like these I prefer referring the resp para. I kill answer choices which r extreme or contradict the primary purpose of the passage before even referring to the para. Thats my 2 cents!
I got your msg, gmataquaguy. Thanks for drawing me back into the forums, with this wonderful question.
My answer is C.
Before I proceed to explain my answer choice, I will explain my technique. I picked the answer choice based on what I remembered. I spend more time reading the passage and understanding its gist, before proceeding to answer the question. If it is a 25 line passage, I may spend anywhere between 3 to 4 mins, because, the questions tend to be more complicated for shorter passages. On the other hand I spend about 5 to 6 mins for 70 liners. I read a para, and try to summarize its contents. If I am stuck, I quickly skim the para to understand the essence. In the end, I try to correlate all my thoughts into one coherent stream, before, I attempt the questions.
Enuf said!! C is never mentioned in the passage.
Choice A is clearly described in para 3 in the following sentences "Bearden painted scenes of hardships ....." and in "His human figures, placed in abstract ..."
Choice D is mentioned in the last sentence of Para 3 (While functioning as part of the overall design, these colors also served as symbols of the psychological efects of debilitating social processes)
Choice E is mentioned in para 3 in (His human figures, placed in abstract yet mysteriously familiar urban settings)
At this point I was left with B and C. I referred back to the passage and eliminated B because of this sentence in para 3 - "managed to express the complex social reality lying beyond the borders of the canvas without compromising their integrity as elements in an artistic composition"
Darth, in my opinion the reason, the reason D is wrong is because "the colors" [not humans] serve as symbols of the psychological effects of the debilitating process.
I dont have a "set" methodlogy for this type of question - i hate going back to the passage to "eliminate" each and every AC. So i go off my memory on what I've read and eliminate the easy ACs that quite often contradict the authors theme/flow - e.g. AC A.
When left with ACs i go through the passage and try to locate the ACs - here is where i spend quite a bit of my time.