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American Paintings - before 1950

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Landscape Without Words

20th century
55.3 cm x 41.1 cm (21 3/4 in. x 16 3/16 in.)

Oscar Florianus Bluemner (Prenzlau, Germany (Breslau, Poland), 1867 - 1938, South Braintree, Massachusetts) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Oil on board
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Mari and James A. Michener, 1991
Accession Number: 1991.190

Oscar Bluemner’s Landscape without Words strikes equilibrium between opposing forces: the man-made and the natural, the geometric and the organic, the fragmented and the unified. According to the artist’s prolific notes, he approached the genre of landscape “as if it were a person . . . a semi-self portraiture.” Bluemner’s persona comes through in this painting in his choice of subject: a house. Placed precariously atop a hill, the house in Landscape without Words nods to the artist’s formal training in architecture; by the 1920s, these residential structures had emerged as a primary motif in his work. As the title of this painting suggests, Bluemner manipulated the forms and colors in Landscape without Words to visually express the unspoken—the multifaceted experience of the self and the surrounding world.

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