A new exhibition entitled Concentrated Color: Watercolors by Oscar Bluemner from the Vera Bluemner Kouba Collection opens Friday, January 27, 2012, at Stetson University’s Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center, with an opening reception from 6-8 pm. The exhibition, which runs until May 2, continues the mission of the Hand Art Center to display and investigate the work of modernist painter Oscar Bluemner (1867-1938) that was bequeathed to the university by the artist’s daughter. The intensely colorful watercolors are shown for the first time at Stetson, and most of them were never displayed publicly even during the artist’s lifetime. Exhibition curator, Dr. Roberta Smith Favis, will present a public lecture about the exhibition on Wednesday, February 29, in Room 25 of the Instructional Media Center.
Born and trained as an architect in Germany, Oscar Bluemner came to the United Statesin 1892 and continued to pursue an architectural career for the next twenty years. At the beginning of the twentieth century, contact with photographer/gallerist Alfred Stieglitz and his avant-garde artistic circle spurred his decision to abandon architecture in favor of painting. A trip back to European 1912 transformed his visual language into a powerfully emotional modernist idiom in which color became the primary vehicle of expression. Concentrated Color demonstrates the variety of moods that Bluemner distilled even into the smallest formats, creating effects ranging from radiant and exuberant to somber and mysterious through the force of color alone. He applied this distinctive style to commonplace motifs drawn from the factories, farms, quarries, and small towns of New Jersey,New York,Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. In the images in this new exhibition glowing tones transform the most mundane American scenes into resplendent icons of the human spirit.
The Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center is located on the Palm Court of the Stetson University campus. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday 11 am – 4 pm. The gallery is closed weekends and university holidays. All events are free and open to the public. For additional information, call the Hand Art Center at 386-822-7270 or the Art Department at 386-822-7266.