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"Between 1886 and 1892, Oscar Bluemner attended technical high schools in Hannover and Berlin, Germany. He held two jobs as an architect before immigrating to the United States in 1892. For the next eight years, Bluemner moved between Chicago and New York, working on a variety of architectural projects. By 1900, he was married and settled in the New York City area, where he would live until 1926.
"Bluemner painted and sketched landscapes in Germany and America. His 1910-11 color drawings of New Jersey and New York scenes display a chromatic vibrancy equal to that of the Post-Impressionists, especially van Gogh. In 1912, Bluemner gave up architecture to devote all his energies to painting. That same year, during a seven-month stay in Europe, he had his first solo exhibition in Berlin.
"During 1914-15, back in America, Bluemner radically transformed his artistic conceptions and techniques, incorporating simplified architectural and landscape forms into interlocking architectonic grids of color planes; the result is brilliantly prismatic. Although the use of bright color in these works resembles that of the Synchronists and Orphists, Bluemner claimed the early nineteenth-century color theories of Goethe were more influential...
"In 1926, Bluemner moved to South Braintree, Massachusetts. In his late work, he abandoned the geometric grid format and his landscapes became more naturalistic. He developed a system, based in part on Goethe's principles, that ascribed meanings to specific colors, and thus fully realized the emotive symbolism he had always sought.
"In 1938, bedridden and in great pain as the result of an automobile accident, Bluemner took his own life."
- From Patterson Sims, "Whitney Museum of American Art: selected works from the permanent collection"
Oscar Bluemner Images
Paterson Centre (Expression of a Silktown)
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