* 1920 Chicago, Illinois
† 1999 East Wallingford, Vermont
Norman Bluhm gained international fame as one of the most important representatives of American Abstract Expressionism.
Norman Bluhm was born in Chicago in 1921. He studied architecture at the Armour Institute of Technology, Chicago between 1936 and 1941. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was among his fellow.
Norman Bluhm's young adulthood fell into the days of World War II, during which Norman Bluhm served as pilot in the US Army and suffered a severe injury.
After the war Norman Bluhm moved back to Chicago and continued his studies, but he was soon attracted by Europe: In 1946 Norman Bluhm enrolled at the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti, in 1947 he moved to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
In 1956 Norman Bluhm relocated to New York, because the city had become a bustling art metropolis. Norman Bluhm became one of the most important representatives of the New York School. He was a close friend of Joan Mitchell. Just as his long-term partner, Norman Bluhm also worked in the style of Action Painting and Abstract Expressionism. The powerful and spiritual works from those days largely contributed to Norman Bluhm's popularity.
The artist also created an impressive late body of works: As early as in the 1970s forms in his paintings began to intensify ornamentally. This tendency led to monumental and aesthetically highly refined works with symmetric and organic structures in the 1980s and 1990s. His later work was honored with a solo shows at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston ("The Late Paintings of Norman Bluhm") in 2007, and stands at the same level as the abstract-expressionist works.
Works by Norman Bluhm are in possession of important collections such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. Norman Bluhm died in East Wallingford/Vermont in 1999.