A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas by Olive Jensen Theisen
By Olive Jensen Theisen
John Thomas Biggers (1924-2001) was once a big 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 country, he had his own and inventive leap forward in 1957 whilst he spent six months within the newly self reliant nation of Ghana. From this time ahead, he built-in African summary parts together with his rural Southern photos to create a private iconography. His new process made him recognized, as his own discovery of African historical past slot in good with the transforming into U.S. civil rights flow. he's most sensible identified for his work of art at Hampton college, Winston-Salem college, and Texas Southern, however the drawings and lithographs that lie in the back of the work of art have bought scant recognition - beforehand. Theisen interviewed Dr. Biggers over the past 13 years of his existence, and used to be welcomed into his studio innumerable instances. 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 coed and the scholar.
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Extra info for A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers
He soon hired two more Hampton graduates: Joseph Mack, a painter, and Carroll Simms, a sculptor and potter. Hazel Biggers had graduated from Hampton with a degree in business and quickly found a position in the business ofﬁce. The couple located a small two-room apartment of their own not too far from campus. The name of the institution was changed to Texas Southern University in 1951. B U ILDING IN HOU STON AND TE X A S SOUTHE RN U NIVE RS IT Y, 1949 –1957 33 ﬁgure 17 Joe Mack, Viktor Lowenfeld, John Biggers, Texas Southern University 1951 It was not an easy beginning for the young couple who were new to Houston ways.
Day of Plenty (1948–1949) was intended to show the power of people who have learned, through education, to work together for the common good. The drawing also reﬂected John Biggers’s discovery of Diego Rivera, whose work he admired greatly. “Here I am, at cold, wintry Penn State, working in the style of a Mexican painter. ”31 Those drawings reﬂect his passionate commitment to art expression as a response to the life he had known and cared about. The rituals of birth, life and death, regeneration, and hope had been at the core of his understanding of life.
So Biggers would join his students in class or in the kitchen when Hazel was cooking supper. While guiding a visitor through his 1995 retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, he gestured towards several early drawings: The ﬁrst two drawings I made in Houston were those two: The Cradle and Sleeping Boy. The reason they are so important to me is that I don’t think I’ve ever beat them. 6 The Cradle (ﬁg. 19, and also featured on the jacket to this book) was entered into the annual 1950 Houston Artists Exhibition sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston.