Friday, February 26, 2010

Bloom at Knapp / Picasso at Art Museum

Okay, listen up. Let’s get serious for a moment. People’s lives are at stake. Presently, I am studying Brazilian Portuguese; a very difficult language to learn. I enjoy a challenge. I tend to be challenged at many fronts. Forgive me, I digress. An important ideal or notion to Brasileiros is verdade. Verdade.” is the Brazilian word for truth. So, for the moment, let’s talk verdade. For clarity, I will define truth/verdade as “that which cannot be denied

While art appreciation is subjective regarding individual taste, relativity requires a point of objectivity in defining what we label as “good” art. Somewhere along the line, somebody said “Hey! This Picasso guy is all that.” Nonetheless, reaching consensus may have taken considerable time. And while everyone may not like Picasso’s style of painting, most would agree that his work denotes a standard by which others are judged. Ergo, our definition of good -“The standard by which others are judged.“ Clearly, for argument sake, our use of good is only meant to simplify not diminish the undisputable contribution made by Father Pablo.

I find it serendipitous that Knapp is exhibiting Jim’s art concomitantly with The Picasso exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum. Am I comparing Bloom to Picasso? Emphatically, no. However, I am saying there is an undeniable and undisputable quality in James Bloom’s art. This is good art; verdade.

I have a short story for you. This will take only a moment. Back in the fall of ’09, Chris Callahan was up at Knapp. Matisse was hanging at the Pearlman Annex of The Philadelphia Art Museum. At the same time, one of my people was interested in Callahan’s “Tavern Scene.” She held off buying the Callahan until she went to the Annex, wanting to “see” if Matisse made her feel the same way. She did purchase Tavern Scene, acknowledging the definitive quality of Callahan’s color, line and light. Callahan held Matisse accountable. He became the measurable standard by which good and acceptable was judged. It may be now that Picasso is the standard by which Bloom is measured. I am not afraid of the Art Museum, we only have different addresses.

Back to Bloom. Aggressively manufactured, there is urgency about Bloom’s art. Intuitively it calls to transparency. No fancy words here. It’s just honest; verdade. You can’t turn away from the truth. Bloom delivers clarity with the bare essentials. It’s not dressed up. But we are not talking economics. I like that Jim is about getting the job done. Jim gets it done with few brushstrokes, possessing great skill in creating gesture with minimal line. But there is so much more.

Today, I just want to set the work out there. I want you to see. I want you to enjoy.

I will get back with you in a bit.