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Gladys Nilsson

Arytystic Pairanoiya
1978
watercolor and pencil
25 3/16 x 40 3/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the S. W. and B. M. Koffler Foundation

Gladys Nilsson's watercolor defies easy interpretation. "Arytystic" sounds like artistic, suggesting that one of the two large, female figures represents the artist herself, embraced by a single male figure. While "Pairanoiya" calls our attention to the pairs of figures throughout the composition, it also refers to the mental state of paranoia.