Although a relatively small show, the exhibit presents early works and late works in sequence. Thomas’ pivotal ‘Yellow and Blue’ 1959 —the decisive shift from figuration to abstraction— greets with saturated intensity at the entry. I was delighted to finally see a small grouping of the artist’s watercolors and other works on paper. Of course, as an artist, I longed for more. So much work begins with jotted notes and gestures.
I was thrilled to experience the exhibit on a quiet, Sunday afternoon; a day with few visitors to block the view or break my contemplative state with disruptive chatter. With no pressures on my time, I lingered long and experienced fully. Grateful.
My love for Alma’s late work really knows no bounds. In addition to her mastery of color, form, rhythm and motion —all thrilling when experienced in a room filled with these large canvases— Thomas’ use of the aerial perspective has always been unusual and captivating to me. It’s this omniscient point-of-view, I believe, that first attracted me to her work, years ago. Gazing upon ‘White Roses Sing and Sing’, ‘Cherry Blossom Symphony’ and ‘Scarlet Sage Dancing a Whirling Dervish’, I am swept back to a childhood afternoon in Mexico; head hanging over a bridge, mesmerized by fallen flower petals, dancing and swirling in the green current below.
And with this exhibit opening near winter’s end, it will likely be my last museum visit for awhile. I have a few art-centric trips planned for March, but my landscape design schedule is filling up.