Indepth Arts News: |
"Color, Myth, and Music:Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism"
2001-08-05 until 2001-10-28
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA,
Color, Myth and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism examines the evolution of
his art from his important Synchromist works, continuing with his masterful
Asian-influenced paintings, and offering a selection of the stunning synchromies painted
in the final years of his life. The exhibition includes more than 60 works spanning six
Among his many accomplishments, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, along with fellow American
painter Morgan Russell, fathered the Synchromism movement. Convinced that color and
sound were equivalent phenomena and that one could orchestrate the colors in a
painting the way a composer arranged notes and chords in a musical composition, they
developed a system of painting based on color scales. The system entailed constructing
form and depth in a painting through advancing and reducing hues. Their ensuing
synchromies were some of the first abstract non-objective paintings in American art.
Leaving his California home behind, Macdonald-Wright arrived in Paris in 1907 and
immediately began attending classes at the Sorbonne and studying painting at several
traditional academies. Feeling that these schools stifled his creativity, he soon abandoned
them in favor of the radical new approaches of Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, and Orphism
that were being developed to challenge traditional art. It was at that time that he met
Morgan Russell and was introduced to Matisse, Rodin, Percyval Tudor-Hart, a Canadian
painter and color theorist, and collectors Gertrude and Leo Stein. Macdonald-Wright and
Russell exhibited their new aesthetic first in Munich, then in Paris in 1913, and the
following year in New York. Synchromism became the first American avant-garde
movement presented in the international arena.
Yin Synchromy, No. 3, 1930
Oil on canvas, 34 x 40 1/4 in.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
Gift of Mrs. John D. Graham