Pierrot, September, 1911
Oil on canvas
30¼ x 22½ inches
Signed lower left
Albert Bloch studied at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts and, like many of his contemporaries, spent his early days struggling and supporting himself as a caricaturist and illustrator. In 1909 he moved to the thriving art center of Munich. Bloch began reorienting his approach to painting after a trip to Paris, where he was introduced to the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Odilon Redon. But it was exposure to the work of Wassily Kandinsky that profoundly altered Bloch’s aesthetic compass.
Kandinsky along with Franz Marc formed the Blue Rider, and in 1911 they invited Bloch to participate in its first exhibition and in the group’s subsequent show the following year. Bloch shared with these artists an affinity for the Fauve manner of painting, and his expressive compositions and brushwork have been compared to those of Edvard Munch. Unfortunately, many works from this early period were lost in World War II, rendering Pierrot a rare and historically prized painting.