Essay about Jacob Lawrence’s Direct and Dramatic Paintings

Essay about Jacob Lawrence’s Direct and Dramatic Paintings

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Jacob was an African-American artist, who eventually flourished in the art world during the Depression of 1920s, painting African-Americans life in Harlem, making social statements and thus, explaining their life during that time. Additionally, this made his art significant to spectators who praised his works. With no formal training in painting, it was easy for Jacob to ignore the rules that set him apart from other African-American painters and others, before him and in his time, such as Palmer C. Hayden, and Archibald Motely, Jr to whom he was compared. Jacob Lawrence artwork communicated historical data and his perspective of people he was familiar with in his culture. His work expressed how African- Americans struggled for health and social justice, how they were ignored by the Republican administrations, racial equality and eventually, why African-American voters would shift to the Democratic Party.
After reviewing Jacob Lawrence’s direct and dramatic paintings, it was clear that his painting helped him express himself. The painting was and still is a product of the economic and cultural self-determination that African-American dealt in the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, during the migration and still evident in society today. The visual qualities in Jacob Lawrence artwork that is appealing are the vibrant colors and his clever way of self-expressing the time he was so familiar. In final analysis, his artwork expressed how he felt about his environment and what his perspective were during that time. And, how restrained his painting were, for instance, Street Scene – Restaurant, even though African- Americans had access to restaurants in the neighboring area but, he still place patriot outside the restaurant waiti...


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...ce was recognized for his talent. Despite the primitive look of Lawrence’s painting the gesture are read and reveals a set of principles inspired by African-Americans. Thus, the modernist aesthetic of his art shows the critical faith of a people oppressed and striving to get ahead. Therefore, elements of his work and themes like man’s struggle produce one of the United States most famous African-American Artist of all times Jacob Lawrence.




Works Cited

Cotter, Holland. "The New York Times." Visions of a People in Motion (2007): n.p.
Herberholz, Barbara. "Jacob Lawrence: The Glory of Expression." Arts and Activities 129.1 (2001): 12. ProQuest. Web. 25 Jan. 2014.
Romare Bearden, Harry Henderson. A History Of African-American Artists. New York : Pantheon Books , 1992.
Turner, Elizabeth Hutton. The Great Migration . New York: Harper Collins, 1992.

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