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Oscar Bluemner was trained as an architect in Berlin. He emigrated to the United States
in 1892 and soon turned his attention to painting. His early work consisted of
poetic landscapes in watercolor, but a trip to Europe in 1912, to Berlin, Paris, Southern
France, and Italy,
where he was exposed to the possibilities of expressionism, led him to a very
personal expressionist style using brilliant reds, blues and greens. Like the
precisionists, his subjects were industrial buildings, mostly in New Jersey, but his
treatment combined linearity and jagged forms in an explosion of color totally
unique to Bluemner. He was one of the giants of early American modernism. In
1913, he showed five paintings at the Armory Show and, for a period of time,
was one of the artists who attracted the attention of Alfred Stieglitz.
Stieglitz gave him a one-man exhibition in 1915 and 1928. Tragically, as was
the case of so many of the early moderns, his work did not sell well. In 1938
he committed suicide after having been sick and poverty-stricken for years.