Monday, April 12, 2010
Albert Bloch - Winter in the Dead Wood
Winter in the Dead Wood, 1934-1938
Oil on Canvas
After returning to the United States from Germany in 1922, Albert Bloch became the head professor of drawing and painting at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. He painted Winter in the Dead Wood early in his 25 year tenure there. Rendered with a stark palette, this bleak winter landscape suggests haunting desolation and Bloch's own pessimistic world view. The scene depicted within its thick, encrusted surface evokes not only bitter cold, but also memory and loss. Bloch titled the painting after a poem by the Austrian poet Karl Kraus (1874-1936) written in protest of World War I. Lacking explicit references to war, the painting may, nonetheless, reflect obliquely Bloch's horror at the rise of Hitler as well as the despondent mood of Depression-era America.
The original work can be viewed at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.
Photo by me, text references by the museum.