Stanton MacDonald-Wright

, 1890 - 1973

After studying at the Art Sudents' League of Los Angeles, Stanton Macdonald Wright, at the age of 17, moved to Paris to continue his studies. He met fellow artist Morgan Russell and together they developed Synchromism:, an aesthetic philosophy drawing upon `modernist' theories of perception. They applied musical rhythms, space and abstraction to create luminous layers of color, light and form that identified Macdonald Wright's visual `vocabulary' throughout his career. With the advent of the War, he returned to the United States. In 1919, after three years of painting, writing and exhibiting in New York, he returned Los Angeles where he rejoined other members of the Art Students' League in revitalizing as an art center. In 1923, Stanton Macdonald Wright organized a landmark exhibition: "The Group of Independent Artists". Los Angeles artists together with friends of Standon Macdonald Wright (Thomas Hart Benton, Morgan Russell, etc) curated a `window' on modernism. From the mid-1920s through the1930s, he explored subjective composition, combining cubistic and synchromist elements. In the mid-1930s, as southern California director of the Federal Arts Project of the Works Project Administration, figuration predominated in his work. Following World War II, with an awakening interest in Cubism, Zen Buddhism and meditation, Macdonald Wright made pilgrimage to Japan and reaffirmed his Synchromist color theories. He lived between two homes - one in Japan where haiku were translated into paintings and woodcut prints of bold, vibrant and rhythmic visual poetry; at his second home, in Malibu, California, his graphite drawings and paintings of layered brilliant color captured the beauty of the land and sea in explorations of Synchromist space and light. Stanton Macdonald Wright was an intellectual force, an artist, an art historian, a teacher and a leader within the Los Angeles modernist community.
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