Oscar Bluemner’s temperature-varnish painting, Violet Tones, was completed in 1934 on Fabriano paper. The artwork showcases a darkened street in Elizabeth, New Jersey and features vibrant jewel-like hues. Bluemner was an experienced architect and designer before he decided to pursue painting in the early 20th century. He produced lush compositions influenced by Cubism and shared theoretical affinities with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, leaders of the German artistic movement Der Blaue Reiter.
Bluemner utilized a unique style to create Violet Tones which can be seen through his used of colors such as rose violet lightened large clouds in a cyan sky and black yard spaces. The artwork is an excellent example of abstract art that captures everyday scenes into pieces that are both intriguing and aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, Violet Tones signifies the artist’s creative freedom to experiment with new ideas as he relocated from Germany to escape its conservatism.
Bluemner also completed another landscape-inspired piece along the Hudson River called Evening Tones which complements Violet Tones due to its use of vibrant colors that offer viewers intricate details on waterways and other scenery found along the banks. Together these two abstract artworks give insight into Oscar Bluemner’s unconstrained genius as well as his impact on modernist paintings during the early 20th century period.