Vision of a Winter Afternoon, 1916
Oil on canvas
30 x 23 inches
Albert Bloch was an important early Modernist, and the only American associated with the Blue Rider group (Der Blaue Reiter) of progressive German and Russian artists based in Munich. Born in St. Louis, he first studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts before moving to Munich in 1909. Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc invited Bloch to participate in the Blue Rider group’s first exhibition in 1911, marking a period of intense artistic productivity for Bloch.
After the first Blue Rider exhibition, Bloch began experimenting with greater abstraction and freedom of expression. Following the central tenet of the group, Bloch also expressed notions of spirituality in his works, as seen in “Vision of a Winter Afternoon.” The prismatic scene features vibrant bursts of red, yellow, and white across a soaring mountain landscape, and draws strong comparison to the early paintings of Marsden Hartley.