Edward M. Epstein reviews Peter Blume: Nature and Metamorphosis at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, on view through April 12, 2015.
Epstein writes: "Precisionism, Surrealism, abstraction, and Pop art all have their moment in the painting and drawing of this lesser-known American artist, who is now getting his due with the Academy’s retrospective… [Blume] brushed aside associations with all movements … Yet in striking out on his own, he never quite found his own voice. Color palettes bounced from muted grays and whites to warm earth tones. Levels of detail varied from the minimal to the chock-full." In the later paintings, however, Epstein notes: "The elements that began in earlier works — Cubist dislocation of form, Surrealist transformation of scale and substance, the bizarre use of primary and high-contrast colors, and of course sexual innuendo — finally coalesce into a personal statement that, while referring to different types of Modern art, maintain its own integrity."