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Norman Bluhm (1921 - 1999)
Acrylic on cardboard laid down on wood
59 x 89 cm (23 ¹/₄ x 35 inches)
Signed and dated, bluhm 73
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, archive no. 15408
Galleria d’Arte Rinaldo Rotta, Genoa
Private collection, Europe
Milan, Norman Bluhm, Galleria Il Cerchio and Galleria Rinaldo Rotta, 1974
Venice, Norman Bluhm, Circolo Artistico Palazzo delle Prigioni Vecchie, 19th July – 22nd August 1974
This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate from Galleria d’Arte Rinaldo Rotta, Genoa.
In the 1960s Bluhm produced more gestural works splashing paint across his canvases and his palette intensified in colour and light. His paintings often referred to religious and mythological references. This work in question is named after Jocasta, a figure of the Greek mythology, daughter of the king of Thebes Menoeceus, and wife of Lauis. Lauis received an oracle saying he must not have a child with his wife, or the child would kill him and marry her, this child being the famous Oedipus. In 𝘑𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘢, Bluhm demonstrates his sensitivities to bright colours and gestural and organic forms through vigorous and expressive brushstrokes. His classical trained roots are still visible in his abstract paintings, although he debuted in figuration very much in the Impressionist style.
This original painting by Norman Bluhm is available for immediate purchase.
American artist Norman Bluhm was born in Chicago and studied Bauhaus architecture under the supervision of German-American architect Mies van der Rohe at Illinois Institute of Technology before serving during the Second World War with the United States Air Force.
After the war, Bluhm travelled to Europe to study painting at the internationally prestigious Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Remaining in Paris until 1956, he then relocated to New York City until 1970, quickly becoming a key figure of the American Abstract Expressionist movement. A member of the group’s famous Downtown ‘Club’ he became a close friend of fellow New York City artists Joan Mitchell and Sam Francis.
Well-educated and spiritually-inclined, compelled by diverse interests and influences, Bluhm enjoyed challenging his own artistic styles and preoccupations. His uniquely responsive evolution as an artist of the body and the mind gave his work lasting integrity and one that resisted crude commercial imperatives.
Critically acclaimed and highly sought-after at auction today, most recently his work was notably exhibited at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston (2007).