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Red Abstraction

1959 Alma Thomas Born: Columbus, Georgia 1891 Died: Washington, District of Columbia 1978 oil on canvas 40 x 27 3/4 in. (101.6 x 70.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1978.40.2 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 43B

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Red Abstraction

Luce Center Quote

". . . through my impressions of nature . . . I hoped to impart beauty, joy, love, and peace." Artist’s statement, in Van Vechten, Recent Painting by Alma W. Thomas: Earth and Space Series, Exhibition Catalogue, Gallery of Fine Arts, 1971

Luce Center Label

Alma Thomas was inspired by the garden outside her window and painted images that suggest light flickering through leaves and petals. She used dabs and strokes of paint to express the "new colors through the windowpanes" that appeared every time the plants moved in the wind (Alma Thomas: Phantasmagoria, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 2001). Here, the reds, browns, and greens create a warm, heavy mass in the center of the image, which contrasts with the paler shades around the edges. The earthy tones evoke the changing of the leaves during fall, when treetops appear to burst with vibrant color.




paint - oil

fabric - canvas