Alma Thomas (1891–1978). An expressionist with ties to the Washington Color School, Thomas is known for vibrant works — vivid abstractions — possessed of the exuberant spirit of their maker. Thomas supported herself for decades teaching art in a Washington, D.C., segregated high school, painting in the off-hours until her retirement in 1960 at the age of 69, when at last she could give her canvases full attention. The art world took notice: In 1972, she became the first African-American woman to receive a solo exhibition at the Whitney. The Studio Museum celebrates her singular career with this retrospective; New Yorkers should plan to sacrifice some time in the sun to bask in Thomas's brilliance instead.
"A world without color would seem dead. Color is life," said the painter