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The Spectral Attitudes

1941 Gerome Kamrowski Born: Warren, Minnesota 1914 Died: Ann Arbor, Michigan 2004 oil on canvas 35 x 30 in. (88.9 x 76.2 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost 1986.92.62 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 41B


Luce Center Label

Gerome Kamrowski described his paintings as “science-fiction space” because they expressed elements not usually visible to the human eye, such as temperature, atmosphere, or emotion. He played with the idea of scale, and the swirling colors and patterns in The Spectral Attitudes evoke microscopic plant cells as well as giant cosmic nebulae. Kamrowski did not intend for his titles to have actual meanings, and often chose adjectives and nouns at random (Maurer and Bayles, “Interview with the artist,” 1983, Gerome Kamrowski: A Retrospective Exhibition, University of Michigan Museum of Art). But the strange amorphous figures in this image do resemble specters, floating between the layers of translucent paint as if waiting to be released.

Keywords

Abstract

Figure group

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Gerome Kamrowski

Born: Warren, Minnesota 1914 Died: Ann Arbor, Michigan 2004