‘The Beauty of Politics: Oscar Bluemner and Luca Molnar’ at Hand Art Center

The Beauty of Politics: Oscar Bluemner and Luca Molnar, curated by Katya Kudryavtseva, PhD, highlights the distinct approaches employed by these artists in addressing political issues. 

Hot Strike Summer, Luca Molnar, 2023, 40 in. x 30 in., oil and acrylic on panel. Image courtesy the artist. 

Luca Molnar, assistant professor of Studio Art, specifically crafted a body of work for the exhibition. Her pieces delve into themes of labor, labor unions and labor rights, with a focus on the role of women. Molnar skillfully uses bold colors and decorative patterns to emphasize the beauty and femininity of politics. For instance, her painting Hot Summer Strike pays homage to Mable Dodge, a supporter of the arts and intellectual thinkers. 

Oscar Bluemner, Paterson Factories (View from Monument Rock), 1913, watercolor and gouache on paper, 15” X 21 ½.” Image courtesy the Hand Art Center

Similarly, Oscar Bluemner’s symbolic color usage reflect landscapes that depict the impact of the labor movement on American industrial cities.

Together, Molnar and Bluemner shed light on the perfections within imperfect systems of labor and labor towns.

An excerpt from the Curator’s Statement: “The Beauty of Politics: Oscar Bluemner and Luca Molnar showcases the distinct approaches these artists employ in addressing political issues. This exhibition invites spectators to actively and critically engage with the very concept of political art. By exploring the unique perspectives of both a Modernist and a contemporary artist, the audience is prompted to contemplate the intersection of aesthetics and politics, encouraging reflection on the nuanced connections between artistic expression and the broader socio-political landscape.”

The Beauty of Politics: Oscar Bluemner and Luca Molnar is on view through March 23 at Stetson’s Homer and Dolly Hand Art Center. An Artist and Curator Talk is scheduled on Feb.  21 at 6 p.m.