new-york

Norman Bluhm

Washburn Gallery

This exhibition, entitled “Norman Bluhm Paintings 1960–65,” not only examines a distinct period in the artist’s career, it affords a fresh view of a moment in post-war American art history, which has been so codified as to render many artists working then almost invisible. As these large canvases attest, Bluhm remains (along with Joan Mitchell) one of the few artists of his generation to have continually grappled with the Abstract Expressionist legacy. Influenced by both Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock (he saw a show of Pollock’s in 1951 ), Bluhm made his first mature abstractions—allover fields of transparent washes—in the early ’50s, while living in Paris. Over the course of his nearly five-decade-long career, Bluhm transformed this early method, one that parallels Sam Francis’ (they shared a studio in Paris), into a vocabulary all his own.

These paintings are both dense and airy. Strong

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