Painted in 1963, the circular forms and faceted planes of color recall Macdonald-Wright’s Synchromist works of the early 1910s. Macdonald-Wright has clarified the planes of color; washes defined earlier by ink give way to a sharp, powerful composition defined by pastel, chalky forms painted on plywood.
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. The painting is inscribed on the back “Kyoto 1963.” Macdonald-Wright first visited Japan in 1937. In the late 1950s, he began spending five months a year at a Zen monastery in Kyoto.
Estate of the Artist;
Edward Goldfield, Los Angeles, CA;
[Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco, June 12, 1986, lot 2476];
Stanford Rothschild Collection, Baltimore, MD;
[Christie’s, New York, May 18, 2004, lot 119];
[Owings-Dewey Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM];
Tulsa. Philbrook Museum of Art. From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection(February 8-May 3, 2015); Phoenix. Phoenix Art Museum (June 5-September 6, 2015); Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (September 25, 2015-January 10, 2016).
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.
Private Collection. Butterfield & Butterfield, San Francisco. Selected American and European Paintings and Sculpture. June 12, 1986, lot 2476, ill. np.
Private collection. Christie’s, New York. Important American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. May 18, 2004, p. 155, lot 119, ill. p. 155.
Agee, William C. and Lewis Kachur. Masterpieces of American Modernism: From the Vilcek Collection. London: Merrell, 2013, pp. 166-167, 267, ill. p. 167.
Fisher, Rich. “Now at Philbrook — ‘Masterworks of American Modernism from the Vilcek Foundation Collection,'” Public Radio Tulsa, February 10, 2015.
In 1912, Morgan Russell and Stanton Macdonald-Wright founded Synchromism, meaning “with color,” a movement in which color becomes an expressive and formal element, and held their first exhibitions in Munich and Paris in 1913.