New York

Hyman Bloom, Torso and Limbs, 1952, oil on canvas, 34 1⁄4 × 52".

Hyman Bloom, Torso and Limbs, 1952, oil on canvas, 34 1⁄4 × 52".

Hyman Bloom

Alexandre Gallery

Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning thought that Hyman Bloom (1913–2009) was “the first Abstract Expressionist artist in America.” In 1950, Bloom was chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale, alongside those two artists and Arshile Gorky. In Artnews that same year, Elaine de Kooning noted that Bloom’s paintings were almost totally abstract and declared that “the whole impact [of his art] is carried in the boiling action of the pigment.” Such freneticism, an immersion in nature at its most elemental and intense—or, perhaps more accurately, an impassioned identification with it—suffused “American Master,” an exhibition of the artist’s canvases and works on paper at Alexandre Gallery.

Bloom was born in a shtetl in what is now called Latvia, and came from an Orthodox Jewish family. Some of his paintings featured rabbis (none of these, unfortunately, were included in this

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