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Raymond Jonson, Pictographic Composition No. 7 (Oil No. 17)

Raymond Jonson, Pictographic Composition No. 7 (Oil No. 17), 1946

Raymond Jonson
1891 Chariton, Iowa−1982 Albuquerque, New Mexico
Pictographic Composition No. 7 (Oil No. 17)
1946
oil on masonite
28 x 36 in.
University of New Mexico Art Museum, bequest of Raymond Jonson, Raymond Jonson Collection, 82.221.0474


As a co-founder of the Transcendental Painting Group, Jonson tended to reject representational images and art with political content. The white lines in Pictographic Composition No. 7 were inspired by Native American petroglyphs. They were created by physically scraping through layers of paint to reveal the underlying canvas. The dominant red circle undoubtedly relates to the Japanese flag, the war that ended a year before he created the painting, and the distant red glows produced by detonating atomic bombs.