Smithsonian American Art Museum presents Director's Choice

Purism

detail from Vegetable Dinner Blume was involved with a style called Purism, which emphasized exquisite contours and simplified shapes. Purism deletes all the messy and confusing aspects of life, leaving a clarified modern classicism. Blume had mastered the look, as we see in these crisply drawn arms and hands. Still, there's something in the way the knife slicing away a potato skin is poised against the vulnerable thumb, perhaps to cut more deeply. Blume could find a dark tension in this game of edges and surfaces.



Pictured: Peter Blume, Vegetable Dinner,1927, oil, 25 1/4 x 30 1/4 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase.


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Vegetable Dinner
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