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Number 20

Bradley Walker Tomlin

Number 20

Bradley Walker Tomlin
  • Date: 1949
  • Style: Abstract Expressionism
  • Genre: abstract

Although some of the ribbons and bars that animate Number 20 are recognizable letters of the alphabet (E, X, or Z) these and their more abstract neighbors evoke calligraphy without constituting it. A critic described these symbols as “hieroglyphs that lack only the appropriate Rosetta Stone for their deciphering.” Tomlin distributed his nonobjective imagery evenly on the canvas, depriving the work of a traditional focal point and creating a staccato rhythm and allover design that invites the viewer’s glance to travel across its surface.

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