His artistic career began as an illustrator, working in ink drawings. In 1925, attracted by the presence of Alaine Locke, philosopher and cultural critic, Douglas moved to Harlem, New York to be part of Lockes' New Negro Movement.
This movement expressed African Americans' new pride in their African heritage, manifesting itself in literature, song, dance, and for Douglas, most significantly art. Shortly after his arrival in Harlem, Douglas made the acquaintance of German- American portrait artist Winold Reiss, who illustrated the March 1925 New Negro issue of Survey Graphic for Locke.
Locke recognized that the sculptural art of Africa had inspired the art of such leading modernists as Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brancusi and that it could lead to the creation of great art by African Americans. Both Reiss and Locke encouraged Douglas to develop his own American black style from design motifs in African art. Douglas reduced forms to their fundamental shapes, such as circles, triangles, and rectangles, and tended to represent both objects and black people as silhouettes. Most of these forms are hard-edged and angular, reminiscent of the Art-Deco designs popular in the United States during the early twentieth century. Some figures, however, have a curvilinear character, apparently influenced by the contemporary Art Nouveau trend in France.
Their sense of movement has been compared to that of Greek vase paintings. In 1927, his visual exploration of African motifs and his use of black subjects attracted the attention of black intellectual and writer James Weldon Johnson, who commissioned Douglas to illustrate his book God's Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927). Douglas considered his work for this book to be his most important and mature set of illustrations. Douglas said, I tried to keep my forms very stark and geometric with my main emphasis on the human body. I tried to portray everything not in a realistic, but in [an] abstract way, simplified and abstract as.
Douglas was not exclusively an illustrator and a muralist, although these two mediums occupied the majority of his career. A Rosenwald grant took him to Paris in 1931, and influenced by a year of independent study at the Académie Scandinave there, he occasionally painted portraits and landscapes, which were more naturalistic than his other work.
One of the first African American artists to affirm the value of the black experience, Douglas continued to lecture and paint until his death, stating his refusal to compromise and see blacks as anything other than a proud and majestic people. Aaron Douglas died in Nashville in on February 3, 1979. The item "AARON DOUGLAS Signed Original Gouache on Paper Painting" is in sale since Sunday, April 28, 2013. This item is in the category "Art\Paintings". The seller is "skf-fineart" and is located in Los Angeles, California.
This item can be shipped to North, South, or Latin America, all countries in Europe, all countries in continental Asia.: Signed