In Living Color: Visual Rhythm from the Permanent Collection

May 2 - July 21, 2013


Explore In Living Color and find out who spent three years in the Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division, or traveled across war torn Europe to East Africa in 1942, or studied at the Art Students League under George Luks and John Steuart Curry. This original CMA-produced exhibition offers a great story behind every work.

Museum Curator Lynnda Arrasmith said, “The concept behind this exhibition was bold color and unique compositions that span the abstract works in our Permanent Collection.”

In Living Color invites you to enjoy the movement of visual rhythm and color that has been created by American artists.  The exhibition includes work from Magic Realism to Abstract Expressionism to Op Art (optical paintings).

You will surely discover more interesting stories and learn more about the uniqueness of the CMA Permanent Collection when touring the exhibition!

Images and Notes from the Exhibition

(above, left) Homage to the Pyramids, Alexander Calder, lithograph on paper, 17" x 13"
Gift of Mrs. Robert Timken 

Calder (1898 - 1976, American) experimented with wire constructions and abstract paintings and became known for his movable sculptures. In 1932, Marcel Duchamp christened these objects as mobiles.  Calder’s simple, hard-edge images and limited range of pure colors make bold visual statements, especially within printmaking.

(above, center) The Dreamer, Balcomb Greene, oil on canvas, 50" x 37-3/4"
Gift of Richard A. Florsheim Art Fund

Greene (1904 - 1990, American) rarely painted directly from models.  "I like to see the nude moving around, rather than posed, to get the feeling of the figure in my head," he said.  He never wanted to do his own portrait but installed mirrors on his studio walls to catch the nuances of motion, his own and his models, along with the uneven play of light and changing nature entering his work space.  Greene painted every day in his studio, he took no Sundays off.  But because of ill health he was unable to paint during his last five years.  He died in his house above the ocean on November 12, 1990.

(above, right) The Nine Cauldrons #3 - Unicorn, Alfred Jensen, 1958, oil on canvas, 85-1/4" x 53-1/8"
Gift of Mary S. Myers

Although there is sometimes a superficial resemblance between works by Alfred Jensen (1903 - 1981, American) and Jasper Johns – Jensen’s purpose in using such forms and symbols was personal, bordering on the metaphysical.  The complexity of the relationships of color was paralleled by mathematical sequences which reflected Jensen’s interest in magical numerical systems.

(above, bottom) Night, Ralston C. Thompson, 1955, watercolor/gouache on paper, 22" x 29 ¾"    
Gift of Mrs. Edith C. Thompson

“Dad taught me a very good point about painting, or, I suppose, about life. He watched me painting one day—a still-life which I was exhaustively trying to detail. He must have become impatient because he said, `Ralston, you don’t give much credit to whoever will look at that for being able to see or for being intelligent. Leave something for them’. I hope the comment rubbed off. It has stuck with me since then.”  - Ralston Thompson, 1974

(right) Humorous Abduction #2, Robert Arthur Goodnough, 1962, oil on canvas, 52" x 36" 
Gift of Mary Myers

Robert Goodnough, an artist with an acute color sense, he has made some of the most elegant works of the 1970s. Concerned with the problems of representing shapes on the picture surface rather than with content, he said: “I try to un-cube the ‘cube’ to create a space which is neither recessive nor advancing, but just special relationships on a single plane.”


In Living Color is also featuring Flowers by Andy Warhol while our other Warhol, Liz, is traveling to the Massillon Museum for a show starting in June — entitled “Snap! In the Photobooth with Andy Warhol and Friends.”  This will be on exhibition from June 22 through October 13, 2013.  Visit their website at for more information.

About the Canton Museum of Art Permanent Collection
The focus of the Permanent Collection is 19th, 20th and 21st century American works on paper, and American ceramics from the 1950s forward.  Over the last 10 years, CMA has acquired pieces from important and noted artists consistent with that focus, and today the Permanent Collection holds nearly 1,300 pieces with a value of more than $22 million.