Alma Thomas (1891–1978) Space, 1966 Acrylic on paper 6 × 7 in. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase and a gift from E. Thomas Williams and Auldlyn Higgins Williams 1997.9.19

Alma Thomas was experimenting with color combinations in relation to pattern and the thickness of lines when she painted Space. She created the work shortly after retiring from teaching to focus on her art career. At this transitional moment, she began moving away from figurative representation to focus on abstraction as a means of expression. This work demonstrates the nascent stages of Thomas’s recognizable bold and gestural style, in which color plays an integral role.