Triad Brilliant, Passaic River Hills

Oscar F. Bluemner, American (born Germany), 1867 - 1938



Oil on plywood panel

Panel: 23 × 30 in. (58.4 × 76.2 cm)

Frame: 31 5/16 × 38 3/8 × 1 3/4 in. (79.5 × 97.4 × 4.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through a gift from Evelyn A. and William B. Jaffe, Class of 1964H, by exchange



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, lower left corner in dark red paint: BL[combined]UM[combined, with umlaut]ER[combined]


Stuart Davis’s subjects were drawn from his surroundings, including household objects, buildings, street signs, and landscapes. In his still-life compositions, he often started with a completely ordinary object—a bottle, a spoon, or a whisk—that he distilled, reconfigured, and rendered with hues derived from compositional necessity rather than close observation.

Standard Still Life #2 could reference a decanter and boxes or other containers for foodstuff. By referring generically to his schematic compositions as “Color-Space-Compositions” (a term he preferred to “abstractions”), he accentuated their formal, over illusionistic, qualities. Davis’s approach to his art was methodical and intensive. He would often recycle elements from earlier works to create closely related compositions. He started two nearly identical “Standard Still Lifes” on the same day, but deployed the colors differently in each, thereby creating very distinct spatial effects. As in many of his works, the inclusion of writing—in this case his signature—is integral to
the composition, as are the two painted borders that further compress and lock in this taut arrangement of colored shapes presented in a shallow space.

From the 2019 exhibition Cubism and Its Aftershocks, curated by John R. Stomberg Ph.D, Virginia Rice Kelsey 1961s Director

Exhibition History

Cubism and Its Aftershocks, Citrin Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 16, 2020.

In Search of the Present: The American Prophets, no. 71, illus., Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida.

New Landscape Paintings by Oscar F. Bluemner: Compositions for Color Themes, no. 11, Marie Harriman Gallery, New York, New York, 1935.

Oscar Bluemner: Paintings, Drawings, no. 66, illus., as Triad-Brilliant, Passaic River Hills, New York Cultural Center in association with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey, 1969–70.

Oscar Florianus Bluemner, no. 18, University of Minnesota, The University Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1939.

Publication History

John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 152, ill. plate no. 83.


The artist; to his son Robert Bluemner (1897-1973), New York, New York, 1938; to Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, New York, 1968; to Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York, New York; to The Regis Collection, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1978; Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, New York, 2000; to a private collection, California, 2000; to Christie's, "Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture," New York, New York, December 5, 2002, lot 142; to Casper Fine Arts & Appraisals, New York, New York; to a private collection, New York, New York; with Menconi +Schoelkopf, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2017.

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