Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to announce Visions of Abstraction, featuring works by Fritz Bultman and Otto Neumann.
Fritz Bultman (1919-1985) was an American Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and collagist and a member of the New York School of artists. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and moved to Germany to join the Bauhaus at the age of 16. There, he was acquainted with Maria Hofmann, the wife of Hans Hofmann, which initiated a move to New York to study under his guidance. Bultman set himself apart from other Abstract Expressionists with his meticulously organized abstract compositions, use of sculpture, and the adoption of collage as a core practice. In 1950, Fritz Bultman and 27 other distinguished artists signed a letter protesting the conservative nature of the work selected for a forthcoming national exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The signees of this historic letter were identified as, the “Irascibles,” resulting in the majority achieving international acclaim as Abstract Expressionist artists including Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko, among others.
Otto Neumann (1895-1975) was a German Expressionist painter and printmaker. His monotypes evolved from sharp, angular, black and whites to late abstract prints in a variety of colors. Neumann lived through revolutionary changes in the art world of prewar and postwar Germany. He was a prolific artist in Germany during a time of the country’s unprecedented academic and intellectual growth. His early work shows the influence of both French masters like Cezanne and the contemporary style that was then being developed by German Expressionists like Kirchner. A master printmaker, Neumann was also inspired by the works of Albrecht Durer, whose allegorical subject-matter and unmatched drawing technique Neumann would emulate throughout his career. A lifetime preoccupation with the human figure informs his work, with frieze-like human figures recalling ancient Greek art, and sculptural forms reminiscent of his peers, Henry Moore and Picasso.
The works included in Visions of Abstraction span from the mid 1930s to the late 1970s. On view are examples of Bultman’s early abstracted figure drawings, mid-career abstract oils, and prime examples of his breakout into original collage. Among Neumann’s included monotypes are subjects varying from his archetypal figures created out of continuous lines to geometric abstractions.
Throughout his life Fritz Bultman received several awards including Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships and was a founding member of the Long Point Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, NY; 1 World Trade Center, NY, as well as several other major American museums and corporations.
Otto Neumann was born in Heidelberg, Germany. He began his studies at the State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe and then went on to complete his training at the Academie der Bildenden Kunste.
Neumann’s work is in the collections of Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art; NY, Portland Art Museum, OR; Gibbes Museum of Art, SC; Kurpfälzisches Museum, Heidelberg, among many others. A retrospective exhibition at The Tampa Museum of Art; FL, traveled the United States and Germany.