Laguna Art Museum Benefit Auction

Best known as a founder of the early twentieth-century art movement known as Synchromism, Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890-1973) was an important figure of the American avant-garde who moved from New York to Los Angeles in 1918. During the 1920s he developed a passion for the art, languages, and literature of Asia. On …

Medium
Image rights
Courtesy of the Stanton and Jean Macdonald-Wright Estate

Stanton Macdonald-Wright was one of America’s leading modernist painters and an
early pioneer of abstract art. Born in Virginia and raised in southern California, he settled in Paris in 1907, studying at the Sorbonne and exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne and at the Salon des Indépendents. Together with fellow American expatriate Morgan Russell, he co-founded the avant-garde painting movement Synchromism, which produced luminous and rhythmic compositions of swirling and serpentine forms infused with a rich chromatic
palette. As Macdonald-Wright later described it, “Synchromism simply means ‘with color’ as symphony means ‘with sound’, and our idea was to produce an art whose genesis lay, not in objectivity, but in form produced in color”.

After repatriating himself to the United States in 1915, Macdonald-Wright resided in New York, where he participated in the Forum Exhibition in 1916 and had his first one-man show at Alfred Stieglitz’s “291” gallery in 1917. Having become dissatisfied with what he saw as the “sterile artistic formulism” of modern art and the “academicism” of his own work, Macdonald-Wright permanently resettled in Santa Monica in 1919 and withdrew from the commercial art scene, working primarily as a teacher (UCLA, USC, Scripps College) and as a director (Art Students League, WPA Art Project). During this same period, he wrote a student textbook on color theory and continued his artistic pursuits, which turned heavily toward Eastern representational models, especially Chinese painting. After a hiatus of more than thirty years, Macdonald-Wright returned to nonobjective painting in the mid 1950s with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, producing some of his finest canvases. These Neo- Synchromist works surpassed the artist’s earlier paintings by way of a heightened luminosit and augmented spatiality, creating as a result a deeper spirituality.

Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Fifty Years of American ArtDebra Force Fine Art
2018
Modernism to Abstraction: 20th Century American PaintingsDebra Force Fine Art
2016
Stanton Macdonald-WrightPeyton Wright Gallery
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Haiga Portfolio, No.11: "Slow days piling up--how distant they seem, these past times"--Buson, 1966-67

Color woodblock print
16 × 20 in
40.6 × 50.8 cm
Bidding closed
Laguna Art Museum Benefit Auction

Best known as a founder of the early twentieth-century art movement known as Synchromism, Stanton …

Medium
Image rights
Courtesy of the Stanton and Jean Macdonald-Wright Estate

Stanton Macdonald-Wright was one of America’s leading modernist painters and an
early pioneer of abstract art. Born in Virginia and raised in southern California, he settled in Paris in 1907, studying at the Sorbonne and exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne and at the Salon des Indépendents. Together with fellow American expatriate Morgan Russell, he co-founded the avant-garde painting movement Synchromism, which produced luminous and rhythmic compositions of swirling and serpentine forms infused with a rich chromatic
palette. As Macdonald-Wright later described it, “Synchromism simply means ‘with color’ as symphony means ‘with sound’, and our idea was to produce an art whose genesis lay, not in objectivity, but in form produced in color”.

After repatriating himself to the United States in 1915, Macdonald-Wright resided in New York, where he participated in the Forum Exhibition in 1916 and had his first one-man show at Alfred Stieglitz’s “291” gallery in 1917. Having become dissatisfied with what he saw as the “sterile artistic formulism” of modern art and the “academicism” of his own work, Macdonald-Wright permanently resettled in Santa Monica in 1919 and withdrew from the commercial art scene, working primarily as a teacher (UCLA, USC, Scripps College) and as a director (Art Students League, WPA Art Project). During this same period, he wrote a student textbook on color theory and continued his artistic pursuits, which turned heavily toward Eastern representational models, especially Chinese painting. After a hiatus of more than thirty years, Macdonald-Wright returned to nonobjective painting in the mid 1950s with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, producing some of his finest canvases. These Neo- Synchromist works surpassed the artist’s earlier paintings by way of a heightened luminosit and augmented spatiality, creating as a result a deeper spirituality.

Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by Stanton MacDonald-Wright
Related works