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Thornbush Blues Totem

1990 John Scott Born: New Orleans, Louisiana 1940 Died: Houston, Texas 2007 painted steel 97 3/4 x 63 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. (248.3 x 161.4 x 95.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1994.34 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Scott learned well the lessons of his blues and jazz sources. The brightly colored surfaces of Thornbush Blues Totem not only define the relationship among the cut and bent metal parts; the sequencing of color also echoes the way musicians modulate tempo and pace. Blue and orange establish structure; the varying distances between stripes and bands are intervals that quicken or slow the pulsing cadence. For him, interval, rhythm, and space are interdependent elements in a swirling dance of color and form.

African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond, 2012



sculpture - kinetic

metal - steel