“Hyman is awesomely consistent, brilliant, asceticmore and more people say he is the best painter in America, and so he is.” –Robert Lowell
This important publication, the first of its kind, presents the paintings and drawings of an aesthetic and mystical searcher in the tradition of William Blake, Albert Pinkham Ryder and Odilon Redon, who strove for the moment when, in his own words, “the mood is as intense as it can be made.” Hyman Bloom’s work, influenced by his Jewish heritage (whose impression on his painting he described as a “weeping of the heart”) and Eastern religions, touches on many of the themes of 20th-century culture and art: the body, its immanence and transience, abstraction and spiritual mysticism. Bloom was admired by leading figures in the art world of his time, including Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Dorothy Miller; Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning hailed him as “the first Abstract Expressionist.” The poet Robert Lowell praised Bloom, writing in a letter to Elizabeth Bishop, “Hyman is awesomely consistent, brilliant, asceticmore and more people say he is the best painter in America, and so he is.” The book’s illustrations include ten previously unpublished masterworks, plus images of the figure as powerful and provocative as the paintings by Francis Bacon that were once exhibited alongside them.
Hyman Bloom (1913–2009) was born in Lithuania, now Latvia. He and his family immigrated to the United States in 1920, escaping anti-Semitic persecution. He lived and worked in the Boston area until his death. His work is held in many public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art and others.