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Twilight Sounds

Norman Lewis, American, 1909–1979
Oil on canvas
Made in
United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 333
23 1/2 x 28 in. (59.7 x 71.1 cm)
framed: 30 15/16 x 35 5/8 x 2 3/4 in. (78.6 x 90.5 x 7 cm)
Credit Line
Funds given by Mr. and Mrs. John Peters MacCarthy, the Linda and Harvey Saligman Endowed Acquisition Fund, Billy E. Hodges, and the Art Enrichment Fund
© The Estate of Norman W. Lewis; Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, NY
Object Number
Strong shades of red, yellow, blue, and white punctuate the scribble like vertical lines that fill this composition. Despite its abstraction, “Twilight Sounds” evokes a lived experience, possibly a crowd of active and noisy figures, milling about in the early evening as the sun has just slipped below the horizon. Norman Lewis compared his working process to the creativity and spontaneity of jazz composition, improvising and riffing off what had previously been laid down on the canvas. The energetic entanglements of the lines might mimic a saxophone climbing through a scale, joined by another instrument whose sounds weave through in red, and bass drum kicks that resonate the dark spaces.
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