Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today

Exhibition Website

May 5 2018 - Aug 5 2018

NMWA’s 30th-anniversary celebration continues with Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today, the first U.S. exhibition to explore the formal and historical dialogue on abstraction among women artists of color. 

Featuring work by more than twenty women, including progenitors like Mavis Pusey and contemporary artists such as Shinique Smith, Magnetic Fields is intergenerational in scope and highlights the longstanding presence of black women artists within the field of abstraction in America. From the brilliant colors and energetic brushwork of Alma Woodsey Thomas’s paintings to shredded tire sculptures by Chakaia Booker, works featured in this exhibition testify to the enduring ability of abstraction to convey both personal iconography and universal themes. This landmark project underscores the diversity of abstract art, which lies in its material construction as well as in its practitioners.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.

Whether or not you go, Alma W. Thomas: A Retrospective of the Paintings explores the passion and talent of African American painter Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978). Her spirit shines through each of the full-color reproductions in this elegant book, the first comprehensive text published on Thomas’s life and work in over fifteen years. A gifted and dedicated artist whose life spanned vast social and political changes, Thomas steadfastly forged her path without regard to political or social expectations from the art world. In 1924 she became the first graduate of Howard University’s newly organized art department, and in 1972 she became the first African American woman to hold a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. This is the exhibition catalog for the show organized by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, scheduled to travel to several American museums through January 2000.

Alma W. Thomas: A Retrospective of the Paintings

  • Various Media
  • American
  • Alma Thomas
  • Chakaia Booker
  • and others

Exhibition Venues & Dates