Norman Bluhm

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Norman Bluhm (March 28 1921-February 3 1999), was an American painter classified as abstract expressionist.

He was born on March 28, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois. He studied under Mies van der Rohe at the then Armour (now Illinois) Institue of Technology. After service in World War II with the USAAF he decided not to resume his architectural studies. Rather he studied art at the Academia de Belle Arte, Florence, Italy and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Throughout the 40's and 50's he lived in Paris. He had numerous friends in art, literature, and other creative fields. Among his close acquaintances were Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis, Jean Paul Riopelle, Zao Wou-ki and others. He was married to Claude Souvrain until 1956. He returned to the United States in 1956. He married Carolyn Ogle in 1961. They lived in New York City until 1969 with their two children, David and Nina. From 1970-1980 they lived in Millbrook, N.Y. From 1980-1987 they lived in East Hampton, NY. Thereafter, they lived in East Wallingford, VT until Bluhm's death on February 3, 1999.

[edit] Art

Image:Norman Bluhm - Untitled (1984).jpg
Norman Bluhm's Untitled (1984)

Bluhm's work has been critically praised and his works are in the collections of many major musuems. His work changed throughout his career while retaining certain elements (brush strokes, use of color and line, etc) that to the discerning viewer are obvious. Unlike some artists of note he continually challenged himself to reach new areas and artistic achievements based on his profound knowledge of art and art history, use of the human figure, color, and a passion for life. Among his more noted work are a series of poem paintings done with his good friend the poet Frank O'Hara.

[edit] Comments

Bluhm's work while recognized and praised has never received the measure of attention that some of his contemporaries, such as Joan Mitchell and Riopelle, have. In part, this is due to Bluhm's unwillingness to cater sufficently to those in the commercial art world. Also changing art tastes in the 60's with the advent of Pop Art (which Bluhm found utterly lacking in beauty and passion) placed Bluhm in a critical netherworld. His last show of late paintings in the early 1990s never received the attention it deserved.

[edit] External links

Norman Bluhm

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