Jacob Lawrence

20th Century Artist

A Biography and Influence on American Culture

Jacob Lawrence was one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His artwork depicted the lives of African American people in the 20th century and the African American abolitionists who helped to bring freedom to the African American people. Jacob Lawrence was born in 1917 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. His family, like many other African American families had left their ancestral home in South Carolina seeking new economic opportunities in the North. At the age of thirteen, Jacob Lawrence moved to Harlem, New York with his mother ,and it was here where he started his career as an artist. As a teenager Jacob Lawrence started taking art classes from an African American artist named Augusta Savage. Jacob Lawrence's early work depicted the Harlem community and the people and things he saw there. As he advanced in his career he created his own modernist style of art that depicted all of the aspects of life in Harlem, from the lives of African Americans, to the brutality of the police. With the help of Augusta Savage he was able to get a scholarship to the American Artist's School and soon after he began his career as a professional artist. He went on to paint many scenes of African American advancement and of the Great Migration of African Americans to the north from the southern states. He greatly influenced American culture through his series paintings that helped show all of the trials and hardships that African Americans went through and he also helped show the rich diversity of the African American culture to the rest of the world.
Big image

This visual is of on of Jacob Lawrence' early paintings. It is significant because it shows Jacob Lawrence's perspective of life in his Harlem communiy

Comparison between Jacob Lawrence and Pablo Picasso

Jacob Lawrence and Pablo Picasso are two famous artists of the 20th century that used a modernist style of painting, however their works depicted many diverse things. Jacob Lawrence was a very influential African American artist who, at a young age was very interested in art. He grew up with a poor family living in Harlem, which was where he got a lot of his inspiration for his work. He Painted scenes of African Americans, fighting for freedom, moving to the north in the Great Migration, and living their everyday lives. He painted many of series of paintings that went together, did not use shading in his paintings, and kept his colors unmixed so that they would stand out and not differ too much from his other paintings in the series. Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain. His father was an artist and much like Jacob Lawrence he became interested in art at a very young age. Pablo Picasso had many different stages of his painting career like his blue period, where he used shading and realism. However he is most famous for his cubist, abstract, and surreal artwork. Like Jacob Lawrence he used solid colors and did not use shading. He was a pioneer in modernism and opened up different areas of art that did not follow the traditional view. Picasso made a huge mark in the world of art and died after painting for his entire life.