A rare work on paper by Macdonald-Wright, the orbs of color seem to radiate from the center of the composition. The gradated sections of color are closely related to the posters and Russell’s paintings. Black ink defines the forms and adds a sense of depth. The hand-painted frame is original and the golden polka dots appear to float off the work and into the surrounding space. Macdonald-Wright signed the composition with his mother’s maiden name, Van Vranken.
Morgan Russell and Stanton Macdonald-Wright founded Synchromism (which means “with color”), a movement in which color becomes an independent expressive and formal element, in 1912 and held their first exhibitions in Munich and Paris the following year.
Dr. John Weichsel;
ACA Heritage Gallery, New York;
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reed, New Jersey;
Kathleen and Gerald Peters, 2002;
[Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, NY];
New York. Anderson Galleries. The Forum Exhibition of Modern Painters. March 13-25, 1916.
Montclair, NJ, The Montclair Art Museum, Synchronism from the Henry M. Reed Collection, April 6-27, 1969.
San Diego. Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego. Color & Form, 1909-1914 (November 20, 1971-January 2, 1972); Oakland, Oakland Museum (January 25-March 5, 1972); Seattle. Seattle Art Museum (March 24-May 7, 1972), p. 95, cat. no. 53, ill. p. 78.
New York. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. 20th Century American Drawing (January 23-March 22, 1976); Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden (May 27-July 11, 1976. Loan 1097.75, p. 52, cat.no. 52, ill. p. 52.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art. Synchromism and American Color Abstraction, 1910-1925. (January 24-March 26, 1978); Houston. The Museum of Fine Arts (April 20-June 18, 1978); Des Moines. Des Moines Art Center (July 6-September 3, 1978); San Francisco. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (September 22-November 19, 1978); Syracuse. Everson Museum of Art (December 15, 1978-January 28, 1979); Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts (February 15-March 24, 1979),pp. 31, 140, ill. pl. 107.
Montclair, NJ. Montclair Art Museum. Morgan Russell: The Origins of a Modern Masterpiece (January 25, 1998-April 26, 1998); Philadelphia. The Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (June 12, 1998-August 23); Huntington, NY. Heckscher Museum of Art (September 5, 1998-November 15, 1998), cat. no. 77.
New York. Hollis Taggart Galleries. Synchronism: Morgan Russell and Stanton MacDonald-Wright, May 1-28, 1999.
Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art, Color, Myth and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism (March 4-July 3, 2001); Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (August 5-October 29, 2001); Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts (December 2, 2001-February 24, 2002), cat. no. 7, p. 174, ill. p. 174.
Brunswick, ME. Methods for Modernism: American Art, 1876-1925. April 8-July 11, 2010, pp. 51, 61, fig. 16, ill. p. 51.
Corpus Christi. The Art Museum of South Texas. Masterpieces of American Modernism from the Vilcek Collection of American Art. September 13, 2018-January 6, 2019.
Madrid. Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Nacional. The Synchromists. June 27-November 1, 2022.
Funston, Janet. “Problems in Synchromism,” Artforum 16 (Summer 1978): 57-60, ill. p. 60.
Thorson, Victoria, ed. Great Drawings of All Time: The Twentieth Century, New York: Created by Shorewood Fine Art Books; Redding, CT: Published by Talisman Books, 1979, vol. 1, pl. 201.
American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Sotheby’s New York, September 23, 1993, lot 272, Study for Synchromy in Red, 1914. [This work is also signed Van Vranken and the lot text mentions Conception Life Cycle].
Brodie, Judith and Andrew Robinson. A Century of Drawing: Works on Paper from Degas to LeWitt, Washington D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2001, 76.
Dorfman, John. “Over the Rainbow,” Art & Antiques, November 2020, ill. p. 46.