Object Image

Red Abstraction

Thomas began shifting from representation to abstraction in the late 1950s. She developed her signature style, using "stripes" of bright color, in the mid-1960s. Red Abstraction represents a moment in this evolution, before the artist moved into high-key color and acrylic paint. Rendered in oil paint, the painting testifies to Thomas's persistent interest in the abstract forms and colors of nature. Its oranges and reds evoke the vibrant foliage of fall, while vertical swipes of black suggest the directional growth of trees.

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 s...

1959
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 70.5cm
1978.40.2
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas
Smithsonian American Art Museum
14 September, 2023 - 01 June, 2024
2nd Floor