By Olive Jensen Theisen
John Thomas Biggers (1924-2001) was once an immense African American artist who encouraged numerous others via his instructing, work of art, work, and drawings. After receiving traditional paintings education at Hampton Institute and Pennsylvania nation, he had his own and creative leap forward in 1957 while he spent six months within the newly self sustaining nation of Ghana. From this time ahead, he built-in African summary components together with his rural Southern pictures to create a private iconography. His new strategy made him well-known, as his own discovery of African history slot in good with the transforming into U.S. civil rights move. he's top recognized for his work of art at Hampton college, Winston-Salem collage, and Texas Southern, however the drawings and lithographs that lie at the back of the work of art have obtained scant awareness - formerly. Theisen interviewed Dr. Biggers over the last 13 years of his lifestyles, and used to be welcomed into his studio innumerable occasions. jointly, they chose consultant works for this quantity, a few of that have no longer been formerly released for a normal viewers. After his loss of life in 2001, his widow persevered to paintings heavily with Theisen, leading to a ebook that's intimate and informative for either the student and the coed.
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Extra resources for A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers
John recalled something Viktor had often said about ﬁgure drawing that was memorable to him: “To draw ﬁgures in motion, start with a three-minute pose, ask what part of the body is being used in carrying the weight, lifting, think, and then open your eyes. How does it feel when you lift? We couldn’t copy visually, the form had to have depth and meaning. ” 28 Biggers added: “The ﬁgure starts from the inside out. ” 29 The two following drawings are good examples of Biggers’s clear approach to the form of the ﬁgure.
1 John Biggers, however, had decided that an all-black college was exactly where he was most needed. He wanted to help young black college students develop an appreciation and acceptance of their heritage, believing that would result in a healthier view of the self. In 1949 the negative self-image for some in the Negro community was a serious societal problem, though seldom confronted openly. The Civil Rights Movement would address that issue in the next decade. 32 B U ILDING IN HOU STON AND TE X A S SOUTHE RN U NIVE RS IT Y, 1949 –1957 Voting rights, equal opportunity legislation, the Black Power movement, and Black History Month were solutions of the following decades.
Gure 33 Education, Reading the Bible Conté crayon on paper Study for Blue Triangle YWCA mural 1954 ﬁgure 34 The History of Negro Education in Morris County Conté crayon and gouache on paper (mounted to second piece of paper mounted on linen). , signed. Reproduced courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC. New York 1955 B U ILDING IN HOU STON AND TE X A S SOUTHE RN U NIVE RS IT Y, 1949 –1957 47 48 B U ILDING IN HOU STON AND TE X A S SOUTHE RN U NIVE RS IT Y, 1949 –1957 The reputation of the Texas Southern University Art Department grew rapidly as did John’s career as an artist.
A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers by Olive Jensen Theisen