Scott learned well the lessons of his blues and jazz sources. The brightly colored surfaces of Thornbush Blues Totem not only define the relationship among the cut and bent metal parts; the sequencing of color also echoes the way musicians modulate tempo and pace. Blue and orange establish structure; the varying distances between stripes and bands are intervals that quicken or slow the pulsing cadence. For him, interval, rhythm, and space are interdependent elements in a swirling dance of color and form.

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  • Title: Thornbush Blues Totem
  • Creator: John Scott
  • Date Created: 1990
  • Physical Dimensions: 97 3/4 x 63 1/2 x 37 1/2 in. (248.3 x 161.4 x 95.3 cm)
  • Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase
  • Artist: Born New Orleans, LA 1940 – Died Houston, TX 2007
  • Medium: painted steel