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Jay Rosenblum began his career painting flower-like clusters of color that evolved into the vertical bands for which he is best known. Painting stripes in a serial fashion, Rosenblum’s canvases incorporate vertical blocks of color that oscillate across the canvas like a prism revealing the visible spectrum of light. While each formation is unique, certain colors are favored, including shades of mauve, warm oranges, bright yellows, berry-like reds, and lush greens. Influences of shape found in the work of Ellsworth Kelly are coupled with the “zips” of Barnett Newman and the pigment-rich blots of Morris Louis. Referring to his work as “free associations of color development,” Rosenblum was also influenced by chamber music sonatas. Rosenblum’s compositions, rigid but lyrical, evoke the grand and controlled compositions of music meant for concert halls
Jay Rosenblum was born in the Bronx in 1933. A graduate of the High School of Music and Art, Rosenblum went on to study at Pratt Institute (1951-53), Bard College (1953-55) and the Cranbrook Academy of Fine Arts (1955-56). His work was shown extensively during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, including exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, and Allan Stone Gallery, New York. He was awarded the Carlos Lopez Memorial Prize in Painting from the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1955 and the Painter of the Year Award by Larry Aldrich in 1970. Rosenblum’s work is held in the collections of institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art. Rosenblum died at the age of fifty-six in a biking accident in New York City.