When learning about the work of Emma Amos, I read an interview where she recounted an interesting story about Romare Bearden and Spiral. They were planning their first group show, which was simply titled “works in black and white”, and during one of their weekly meetings Bearden threw a bunch of black and white clippings from magazines and newspapers onto the floor wondering aloud if the group could do anything with them. The premise of the 1964 show was to generate a creative dialog about art and activism during Civil Rights movement, using a simplified palette that became a metaphor for the struggle. His idea to collaboratively create as a group was vetoed by the other members who opted to individually tackle the subject through their own work.
Bearden decided to pursue the idea on his own, creating a small collage, photographing it and enlarging it, resulting in this 1964 piece, The Conjur Woman. This artistic shift from oil, watercolor, and gouache to collage ushered in some of his most critically important work.