Oscar Bluemner

New York Cultural Center

Oscar Bluemner is now, some thirty years after his death, coming into a modest share of the esteem which is his due, considering his role in the history of modern American art. German born and trained as an architect (source of the agricultural and industrial architecture which is the fundamental motif of his later painting), Bluemner had traveled extensively and gained access to the most revolutionary ideas about modern art prior to most anyone else except those progressive painters actually on the spot in Paris. The worst indictment that can be made of Bluemner is that he was able only to extract a sense of period from his painting rather than one of genius. The problem was not one of hand, as we shall see, but of the kinds of ideas to which Bluemner was attracted. His fusion of Cubist structure, emotionalized color symbolism and his sense of mystical community with the Eastern American

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