Tomma Abts German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 915

Abts produces her paintings following a strict, self-imposed procedure. For almost twenty years, she has used vertical canvases measuring precisely 48 by 38 centimeters (19 by 15 inches) for her paintings. Rather than begin with a preconceived structure in mind, she allows her abstract compositions to take shape as she works, sometimes over the course of years. She paints with the support cradled in her arm, not on an easel. As seen here, the surfaces of Abts’s canvases are composed of many layers of paint, with the ghosts of past compositions just barely visible underneath subsequent coats of acrylic and oil. This work’s title, Kobo, is pulled, like all of her titles, from an encyclopedia of German surnames.

Kobo, Tomma Abts (German, born Kiel, 1967), Acrylic and oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.