Object Image

Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music

Do you see that painting? Look at it move. That's energy and I'm the one who put it there.... I transform energy with these old limbs of mine.

--Alma Thomas

This is the largest painting of Alma Thomas's career, created for what would be the last solo exhibition of her lifetime. Thomas painted it on three separate canvases, a format that enabled the artist to achieve ambitious scale despite her declining health and the modest size of her kitchen studio.

As the painting's title suggests, Thomas often listened to music as she worked. Here, bright red forms shimmy across the canvas as if animated by the rhythm of rock and roll.

Credit: Bequest of the artist

1976
Acrylic on canvas
187.3 x 402.6 x 6.4 cm
1980.36.2A-C
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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