Until very recently, Albert Bloch was virtually invisible to the modern art community. Bloch had been a friend of and collaborator with Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Paul Klee, and Marc Chagall. Together they jolted the art world with unheralded appeals to the spiritual and human in art. Today dissention still erupts with scholars and art historians over exactly where to place Albert Bloch in the pantheon of artists who shaped the twentieth century. Should the history books be written to include Bloch? Would Albert Bloch himself have wanted it?
Bloch had been on the cusp of international fame, achieving the kind of celebrity for which most artists would sell their souls. He was, literally, one of the fathers of Expressionism. For reasons that even now remain mysterious, Bloch walked away from it all, without ever looking back. He voluntarily lived the remainder of his life in near total obscurity. “AB” is the story of a singular artist, a unique individual, who used his unusual life as an inspiration for his artistic statements. Bloch’s life is a compelling, colorful and thought-provoking journey. “AB” is a documentary that provides a stirring profile of the artist through his own words and poetry, interviews with Bloch’s students, his widow, his admirers and his critics in the art world. To examine Bloch’s life is to confront the art establishment that determines the standards for greatness in art. Even the gatekeepers of the art world are not sure how to place Bloch. He defies easy description as an artist, and as a man. Through Bloch’s extensive writings and arresting poetry, we glimpse the inner workings of a mind that upheld the principles of the Blaue Reider as his highest ambition, and considered human spiritual exploration as the artist’s most meaningful pursuit.