Emil Bisttram was among the first Taos painters to diverge from the academic and highly representational painting style that characterized early Taos School pictures. Under the influence of his contemporaries Charles Sheeler, Andrew Dasburg and John Marin, Bisttram sought a unique modern aesthetic in his depictions of the Southwest, which distinguished him from his peers and identified him as an influential member of the Taos Art Colony. In 1938, Bisttram, along with Raymond Jonson, founded the Transcendental Painting Group based in New Mexico. Profoundly interested in transcendentalist theory, the writings of Wassily Kandinsky and Nicholas Roerich, Bisttram's style from the period reflected his interest in cosmic abstractions based on Jay Hambidge's Dynamic Symmetry theory. For the artist, the use of symmetry and proportion in his compositions was deeply symbolic. Pulsation--The Oversoul, is a large scale and important painting that is representative of Bisttram’s best abstract compositions. It clearly demonstrates the premium the artist placed on symmetry, depicting a radiating circular form centered against a deep blue sky, meant to represent the cosmos. Bisttram made a print of this image, called The Onement, demonstrating his affinity for this particular composition.