|Oriental Synchromy in Blue-Green, 1918, Macdonald-Wright|
|The 216 color palette--count them if you like.|
(Better yet, try naming them.)
|Stanton Macdonald-Wright |
Self-portrait, ca. 1930
|Cosmic Synchrony, 1913-14|
Synchromism simply means, "with color," which may be one of the greatest oversimplifications in the history of oversimplification. To un-simplify it somewhat, Synchromism is based on the concept that color and sound are similar, and that painted colors can be orchestrated harmoniously in the same way a composer arranges notes in a symphony. Does that mean I have to learn to read music to paint? Keep in mind this was way back in 1913, more than a hundred years ago. These two colorists, influenced by Delacroix, Cezanne, and Matisse, were so far ahead of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism as to make some of the color-field painters (forty years later)look like copyists. Macdonald-Wright's Oriental Synchromy in Blue-Green (top) dating from 1918, gives you some idea what they came up with. Morgan Russell's Cosmic Synchrony (right), from 1913-14, is one of the earliest explorations of the synchromism concept. The work of these two artist is so similar it's like trying to tell a Braque from a Picasso. Together they established Synchromism, along side Orphism, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, and the various international flavors of Expressionism, as one of the cornerstones of Modern Art.
|Airplane Synch Yellow-Orange, 1920, Stanton Macdonald-Wright|
|Macdonald-Wright, Mural for the Santa Monica Public Library, ca. 1930s.|
|Still-life with Arum Lilies and Fruit, 1923, |
Stanton Macdonald-Wright. The lingering
influence of Cezanne can be seen.
|First, moving from left to right in each row, read the word in each block. Second, |
name the color of each block. Third, go back and name the color of the word
in each block. Notice the growing degree of difficulty each exercise entails.