Wim Blom has exhibited internationally. His work is represented in public collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada and the South African National Gallery, in numerous corporate collections and in private collections in Canada, France, Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.A. EDUCATION: B.A. Hons., M.A., University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; University of Perugia, Italy; Studied painting, Florence, Italy; Studied graphic techniques, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Calgary, Canada; Studied lithography, Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. APPOINTMENTS:Lecturer, Department of Fine Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; Instructor, Johannesburg Art School, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Research curator, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, and Editor of the Bulletin of the National Gallery of Canada; Curatorial Administrator, National Gallery of Canada. PUBLICATIONS: Author of a variety of exhibition catalogues, articles and historical studies in painting. AWARDS:1957 Dante Alighieri Gold Medal, Fine Arts Society of Florence, Italy 1979 Medalla de honor, XVII Salón de Primavera, Atenéo de Mahón, Spain 1982 Primo Premio, Certámen Internacional de Pintura, Mahón, Spain 1998 Fellowship, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Republic of Ireland
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS: 1957 Prima mostra di artisti stranieri residenti in Firenze, Florence, Italy Prima mostra internacionale di pittura, Vallombrosa, Italy 1966 Canadian Prints, Drawings and Watercolours, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa 1969 Six Canadian Painters, Picture Loan Gallery, Toronto 1973 Art 4’73, International Art Fair, Basel Summer exhibition, Galerie Schulze-Theiler, Münster 1974 Art 5’74, International Art Fair, Basel 1975 The Perth Prize for Drawing International, Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 1982 Certámen Internacional de Pintura, Mahón, Menorca 1988 Albemarle Gallery, London, UK 1990 Nancy Poole’s Studio, Toronto1993 Nancy Poole’s Studio, Toronto 1998 Vortex Gallery, Salt Spring Island2000 Vortex Gallery, Salt Spring Island 2002 Vortex Gallery, Salt Spring Island 2004 Mitchell Gallery, Salt Spring Island 2007 Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver 2010 Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver 2013 Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver2016 Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver
Dictionary of International Biography, Cambridge and London, Vol. 11, 1975, p. 186 Oliver Knight, Wim Blom in Kaleidoscope, Johannesburg, 1977 Miguel Angel Limón, Wim Blom, una vida entregada al arte, Diario de Menorca, 9 September 1982,p. 6 Esmé Berman, Art and Artists of South Africa, Cape Town, 1983, pp. 65-66 Alain Vignaud, Introduction, Exhibition Catalogue, Gallery International Cape Town, 1986 Sheree Loos, Johannesburg Art and Artists: Selections from a Century, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg, 1986, 00. 47-78 Mark Glazebrook, Introduction, Exhibition Catalogue, Albemarle Gallery, London, 1988 Catalogue of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canadian Art, vol. 1, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1988, pp. 97-98 Lucy Alexander, 150 South African Paintings. Past and Present, Struikhof Publishers (Pty) Ltd., Cape Town, 1990, p. 122
Realisminpaintingisamovementthatisdeeplydividedinitsoutlook.Itembracesmanycontradictoryaspirationsandhasgeneratedmuchcontroversy eveninitsownranks.Forthesereasons,WimBlom,whopaintsinastylewhichmustbecalledRealist,mistrustsfashionandthevagariesofcriticaltaste. He has succeeded in maintaining his independence from the principal trends that can at present be included under the heading of Realism.WimBlom’sworkisconceivedforprivatecontemplationandmakesitspecialappealtothosewhowishtosavouratcloserangetheartist’sparticularway withform,colour,textureandlight.Ifthesizeofhisworkinvitesintimate,meditativeinspection,hissubjectmatter-singleobjects,stilllife,interiors-extend ananalogousinvitation.Inthispatient,selectedandpassionatesearch,therealismofhispaintingsisfaithfultotheobjectrepresented,butittranscends reality and is submerged beneath poetic transformation.WimBlom’strainingasanarthistorianhasmadehimacutelyawareofhistory,it’smeaningandheritage.Themethodsofhistoricalresearchinstilledinhim haveblendedwiththeconnoisseurshipheacquiredastheresearchcuratorattheNationalGalleryofCanada.Thisconjunctioninformshisworkasa painter.Hispaintingsanddrawingsrepresentaquiet,unpublishedvanguardoftheirown,soradicallysteepedintraditionastobenewandoffersafresh artisticexperience.InthecontextofcontemporaryartitisfascinatingtoseehowWimBlom’sexplorationofthepastproducesresultswithanemphatically modern flavour.
To study Wim Blom’s paintings is to enter a beautifully conceived secret world of still life and interiors. This uncluttered world is subtly structured and balanced. In it’s cool, ordered stillness it seems infinitely less ephemeral than the fleeting world od appearances from which it borrows objects, shadows, sensations of colour, form, proportion and light and shade. It is a gently luminous worls. The scale is small and intimate and there is a rare sense of tone, and an element of mystery pervades the work.Adelicatebalanceisstruckbetweenperceptionandconception,butinthefinalanalysiswhatisinterestingaboutBlom’sworkistheconsiderableextentto whichitisaconstructoftheartist’smind,ormoreaccuratelyperhaps,aprojectionofhisinnerlifeasopposedtoamerereflectionofselectedaspectsof the visible world.Hisworkrevealsaloveofdrawing,anunfashionablecapacityforcarefulpreparationandmeticulouscraftsmanship,andasuccessfullydigested knowledgeofarthistory.Ithasbeensaidofhimthatwhathealwaysadmiredmostintheworkofhispreferredsixteenthcenturymasters,hetriedtomake thefoundationofhisownpainting.ThusWimBlom’sworkcontainsareminderthatthepastmayremainabeneficentinfluenceonaswellasapotent constituent of the present.Hispaintingsare,however,quiteclearlytheworkofamodernartist,theproductofasophisticatedlatetwentiethcenturysensibility.Inhisarresting painting Two table-cloths the visual and psychological intensity is unmistakably modern in spirit, concept and style.TolookatapaintingbyWimBlomisainvitationtomeditate.Itcouldbesaidthattheactualpaintingofthesepicturesinvolvesaprolongedformof meditation. In Blom’s case no evidence remains of the effort and pain that inevitably accompanies the birth of any work of art.Mark Glazebrook
•Mark Glazebrook was director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery and later a director of the Albemarle Gallery of London, England. He wrote the introduction to Wim’s catalogue for his exhibition at the Albemarle Gallery. Mark Glazebrook is a writer of art, lecturer and exhibition curator.Mr. Glazebrook and his family live in London, England.
In a small narrow restaurant the tables are very closely placed together, obviously to accommodate as many customers as possible.The freshly starched table-cloths overlap and the corners intertwine as if they are having intimate, secret and silent conversations.Wim Blom Journal Venice September 14, 1966
In painting I look for a civilised mind at work. The results should reflect carefully selected content, be well-finished, reveal acute observation, taste, sensitivity and impact. If these qualities are badly balanced or any of them absent, the end product is invariable second rate or worse. Wim BLom Journal October 30, 1998