Art: Heroism in Paint

Currently on display at the Taft Museum of Art is Heroism in Paint: A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence, featuring the world-renowned painter’s first venture in creating a series of historical paintings.

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click to enlarge “Toussaint L’Ouverture series, no. 38” by Jacob Lawrence, 1938
“Toussaint L’Ouverture series, no. 38” by Jacob Lawrence, 1938

Currently on display at the Taft Museum of Art is Heroism in Paint: A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence, featuring the world-renowned painter’s first venture in creating a series of historical paintings — The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture series, which launched his successful 60-plus-year artistic career and made him into a de facto historian. 

Some of the most striking pieces in the L’Ouverture series are the ones in which Lawrence allows his abstracted patterns of color to set a mood. Painting 21, for example, depicts the aftermath of the Haitian general’s attack on the English at Artibonite. In this figureless landscape, the painter puts the colonial commodity of sugarcane front and center in the composition, which is largely composed of contrasting shades and tones of undulating green sugarcane reeds. Read a full review of the exhibit here.


Heroism in Paint: A Master Series by Jacob Lawrence

is on view through Jan. 17 at the Taft Museum of Art. More info: taftmuseum.org .

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