When an artist paints just to see the reaction of the people, you know you should expect the unexpected. Such is the case when one attends a Harry Blitzstein art show – it is not what you thought it would be, yet you’re not sure what it is either way. What we do know is that this legendary Los Angeles-based artist has been making artworks for over fifty years and counting, and now they will be on view in the German capital, as OPEN WALLS Gallery prepares to host First We Take Berlin – The Art of Harry Blitzstein exhibition. This will also be a great opportunity for all of those who have never visited the remarkable museum based in LA, dedicated to his art in its entirety.
First We Take Berlin
In his recent conversation with Jürgen Blümlein hosted by OPEN WALLS Gallery, Harry Blitzstein described himself as ”a wild expressionist painter” whose paintings usually depicted ugly and violent things or whatever he was going through at that moment. Indeed, to try and describe the paintings would be to say that they call to mind Edvard Munch and his Scream, except here we see cartoonish characters oozing in swirls of paint in an eerie, comic way. It’s not just human portraits, it’s animals too, sometimes as though appearing straight from a nightmare. The art of Harry Blitzstein looks to escape the routine of the everyday and push the boundaries of painting and the arts in general even further, proposing whimsical, puzzling yet familiar scenery, almost as though for viewers’ entertainment only.
A One Artist Museum of Art in Los Angeles
Calling itself ”L.A.’s Longest-Running Single-Artist Space”, the Blitzstein Museum of Art has become something of a landmark of Fairfax Avenue over the past few years. Also known as “Formerly Moe’s Meat Market”, the museum showcases, you’ll guess, only Harry Blitzstein’s artworks, on 3000-square-feet of wall space filled with over 200 pieces. While the artworks evoke European masters like Goya, the space itself appears to be inspired by several other factors, like the literary works of Kafka, or the tunes of Leonard Cohen. Naturally, Harry Blitzstein is the owner, curator and the sole exhibitor of his own museum, with a permanent exhibition of his art that has become a must-see of the versatile Los Angeles art scene; because at 78, Harry Blitzstein is as relevant as ever.
Paintings of the Absurd – Harry Blitzstein’s Art Show at OPEN WALLS Gallery
Luckily for us, Harry Blitzstein never carried on the family tradition of shoemaking and had instead become an art-maker, turning his father’s store into the aforementioned museum. And luckily again, a portion of artworks on display at that gallery will now be on view for the European visitors and to say we’re excited is an understatement. Catch the opening of First We Take Berlin – The Art of Harry Blitzstein exhibition at Berlin’s OPEN WALLS Gallery on June 29th, 2016, as he will attend as well! Curated by the Skateboardmuseum Berlin and Jürgen Blümlein, the show will stay on view through July 10th.