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Reflections
21.5" x 17.5"
Gouache on paper
1962

Rendered in aqueous washes of gouache, Robert Thompson’s Reflections depicts simplified, cream-toned figures in front of a mirrored reflection, resting atop and within a landscape of ghostly faces appearing to rise from planes of pink, violet and green. As Thompson was not only influenced by mythology but also by works of the old masters that he studied while in Europe, this emotive scene can be interpreted as the story of Narcissus paralyzed by his own reflection. This work on paper exemplifies Thompson’s use of symbolism, mask-like faces, flat forms and expressive color that lend themselves to complex readings and allegorical associations. This haunting piece is also sadly suggestive of Thompson’s own tragic and untimely death at age 29.