Raymond Jonson spent most of his career in search of pure abstraction. Born in Iowa and raised in Portland, Oregon, he studied art in Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute, where he first encountered non-representational painting. When the Armory Show came to Chicago in 1913, Jonson discovered the work of Wassily Kandinsky and was struck by the artist’s spiritual approach. In Chicago, Jonson and friend B.J.O. Nordfeldt were involved in early experimental theater, but by 1925 Jonson moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to devote himself to painting. There, he was an important advocate for modern art, painting six WPA murals at the University of New Mexico (where he was professor for 20 years) and co-founding the Transcendental Painting Group of non-objective artists, which aimed to explore spirituality through art.