Aspirations (1936) by Aaron Douglas

Aspirations - Aaron Douglas - 1936

Artwork Information

ArtistAaron Douglas
Dimensions152 x 152 cm
Art MovementArt Deco, Synthetic Cubism, Harlem Renaissance

About Aspirations

The artwork titled “Aspirations,” created by artist Aaron Douglas in 1936, is an oil painting that embodies the stylistic elements of Art Deco, Synthetic Cubism, and the Harlem Renaissance. Having dimensions of 152 x 152 cm, the piece is categorized within the genre of history painting. It is a noteworthy visual representation that captures the essence and aspirations of a significant era.

The artwork depicts stylized figures that seem to emerge from and transcend their immediate environment, which incorporates both natural and societal elements. In the foreground, silhouettes of figures are set against a backdrop comprising of geometric shapes and a cityscape. A group of figures can be seen pointing and moving towards a towering structure that distinctly represents modernity and progress. One can also note the prominence of the star, possibly symbolizing hope and guiding aspirations. The color palette is subtle yet varied, creating depth and a sense of otherworldliness that emphasizes the thematic content of the painting.

Aaron Douglas’s work is emblematic of a period of cultural flourishing and deep introspection within the African American community as they navigated the complexities of modern American society during the early 20th century. His unique approach to composition and his use of the visual language of the time convey an enduring message regarding the pursuit of progress and the human condition.

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