Alma Thomas (1891-1978)
Abstract Expressionist Painter
“Through color, I have sought to concentrate on beauty and happiness, rather than on man’s inhumanity to man” — Alma Thomas, 1970
After retiring from teaching in 1960, Thomas emerged as a talented colorist that dedicated her life to painting. She played a key role in the development of abstract painting throughout the mid-twentieth century, although she did not receive much recognition during this time. She has since been recognized for her exuberant works, noteworthy for their color, pattern and rhythm.
Inspired by a myriad of subjects, Thomas’ paintings were mainly influenced by the color field movement of the 1960s, the United States space program and nature. Her constant interest in composition and color is presented throughout her works even as the central theme of her paintings may have changed. Despite painting in the midst of the civil rights movement, Thomas believed that creativity should be independent of gender or race and created works with this focus on abstraction of color and accidental beauty.
Atmospheric Effects I, 1970