Aaron Douglas, painter

Literal Transparency Expansion:
African America.

by Aaron Douglas (1899 - 1979),"the father of black American art"

"Building More Sately Mansions.1944"

Represents the progression of cultures and civilizations from the dawn of recorded history to the present.
On the upper left, Africa is symbolized by a Pyramid and a Sphinx with a Dan mask profile. Several towering columns cover the range of all civilizations: temple, pagoda, skyscraper..
In the foreground, Africans-Americans working in agriculture, construction, science and industry.
The final figure is the use of concentric circles of light, hightlighting a mother or teacher with two young children and a globe.

This technique of layering shows the knowledge of Cubism: Literal Transparency.

Space with Layers and Rhythms:
"Study for Aspects of Negro Life: An Idyll of the Deep South.1934" 

"The head was in perspective in a profile flat view, the body, shoulders down to the waist turned half way, the legs were done also from the side and the feet were also done in broad... never toward you... perspective. I got it from the Egyptians."
(Interview of Douglas by L.M.Collins,July 1971 - Black Oral Histories)

From Left to Right:
1."The Negro in an African Setting.1934" 2."Study for God's Trombones.1926" 3."Ma Bad Luck Card.1926"

"... to remind  each new generation to look back on, face up to, and learn from the greatness, the weaknesses and failures of our past with the firm assurance that the strength and courage certain to arise from such an honest and dutiful approach to our problems will continue to carry us on to new and higher levels of achievements".
(Interview of Douglas by Jacqueline Fonvielle-Bontemps, 1971 - "The Life and Work of A. Douglas : A Teaching Aid for the Study of Black Art" - master's thesis, Fisk University)