Time Expired, 1962, MoMA, acquired, interestingly, in 1971.
The name is made up, but the art and the person are real, and so is their family. Tracking down and meeting Vern Blosum was a huge treat for me, and I’m saddened to learn the artist has passed away.
Several years after it acquired a Blosum painting, The Museum of Modern Art grew concerned that the artist did not exist, and that perhaps, as rumored, the painting was a prank. Leo Castelli, whose gallery had sold many Blosums to prominent collectors in the early days of Pop, but who never gave Blosum a show, provided the museum with an artist bio. The Modern went so far as to search local archives for birth announcements and certificates in Blosum’s claimed home state of Colorado, around his claimed birth date in 1936. When they couldn’t find any, they put the painting in storage, where it remained for nearly 50 years.
It’s interesting that the brief announcement of Blosum’s death put out by the artist’s gallery contains this fictitious birth information. When I met the artist occasionally known as Blosum, I was assured that the MoMA bio was not untrue. So from the artist’s view, there is apparently some significance in its details. I expect I will look into this delta, but now is not really the time.
Previously: 2010: Anyone tell me about Vern Blosum?
2011: Verne Blosum found, or rather, found by Verne Blossum