Hyman Bloom


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Painter. His expressionistic canvases devoted to psychologically intense themes drenched in allegory and mysticism often addressed religious, predominately Jewish, subjects. Characteristically, he situated the spiritual within its material expression, as in a notable series of human and animal corpses displaying a morbid fascination with death. Dissected, decaying, or mutilated, these distorted bodies suggest his admiration for Chaim Soutine's work. Autopsy (Whitney Museum, 1953) demonstrates his potent combination of disturbing subject matter and ravishing surface effects. In other works of the time, he addressed mythic subjects in compositions approaching abstract expressionism's formlessness and rich materiality. Born in Brunoviski, Russia (now Lithuania), Bloom emigrated in 1920 with his family to Boston, where he found encouragement from Denman Ross but otherwise had little training. Nevertheless, he evolved a sensuous, painterly approach based on old masters as well as his admiration for European expressionists, including Georges Rouault as well as Soutine. He also was drawn to William Blake's visionary mode. During the Depression he worked for a federal art project. He remained in Boston throughout most of his career, pursuing an individualistic vision that deviated from the mainstream since the 1960s. Attracted also to landscape, he worked as well elsewhere in New England, particularly in Maine. He died in Nashua, New Hampshire where he had resided from 1983.

Subjects: Art.

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