Rachel Sturm Rosenblum- “Rae Sturm” worked in New York during her long and productive life. She was born in New York City in 1900 and lived and painted in her later years at 30 E. 9th street in the village until her death in 1994. She began her career after graduation from Juliard School of Music dedicating her early life to playing violin and experimenting with different levels and cadences of strings. Ever the innovator she moved relentlessly as a member of the “avante garde” in free expressionist music. During this period her vision saw an inextricable relationship between the auditory and the visual and she began playing with rhythmic movement on canvas with melodic depth expressed in her strong color mixes.
The modern abstract movement definitely influenced her work and she studied at the Art Students League in New York and the New School being strongly influenced by the abstractionists and expressionists of her time and being most especially taken with the human form and its emotion. Her paintings evolved from definitively painted subjects to open form humanity displaying it in its true, unbridled, and raw form with no embellishments or apologies. The musician is ever present in her work and the melodic, yet strong, movement of her brush is experienced in each similar but yet decidedly unique form she offers. One is drawn into the emotion of the piece unwillingly yet with a strong need to feel the movement. She conveys an overwhelming desperation experienced in life and primarily concentrates on women. This is seen so vividly in paintings such as “the slip-woman in white”, “carmen”, and “blue leotard”. in these paintings an honesty of life is conveyed without hesitation clearly communicating spiritual pain, resolution, and strength. In her citiscapes she expresses the heartbeat of life in the city with powerful movements in her buildings as in “the cedar bar”.
Not permitting herself to be bound to a two dimensional form she even more vividly expressed the power and emotion of life in her sculptures. Stacato surfaces join together to express in three dimensional form, with primitive strength and fire, humanity and its toil in life. She exhibits a freedom of form and yet conveys the age old message of being bound to ones circumstances. Most especially this is seen in her sculpture of the boxer “down but not out”. In this particular piece she shows the power and strength of the human form but at the same time the determination to continue in the face of the greatest adversity.
Sturm is a weaver of rhythmical movement and the spirituality of desperation and human determination. She presents her subjects with raw honesty and softens the message by showing how the recurrent rhythms of life balance the sorrows and permit progression. A truth teller with a keenly spiritual touch and only now being discovered for the power of her hand.