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Abstract Painting 

Sunrise Synchromy in Violet by Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Background Information

Macdonald-Wright began his art career  in the early 1900s, with his father securing him private painting lessons from when he was at a young age. After he married at seventeen, he moved to Paris with his wife to study and immerse himself in European art. He studied with Morgan Russell and Canadian painter Percyval Tudor-Hart during his stay there. The color theory of his teacher deeply impacted him and was able to connect the aspects of color to that of music. He was influenced by the works of Delacroix, the Impressionists, Cezanne, and Matisse; artists who placed great emphasis on the "juxtapositions and reverberations of color." This was the time where he developed his style, Synchromism ("with color") with the belief that painting should be done very much in the way music is made and stray away from its "representational associations." European critics claimed that Russell and Macdonald-Wright took the idea of color abstraction from Orphism. This in turn drove him and Russell to move to New York in hopes to gain financial success and a means of supporting their cause. During this period, Macdonald-Wright commented that he strived to incite "[wholly aesthetic] emotions, [from the audience], as when listening to good music..." With little success in New York for his artistic style, he moved to California and there helped organize the first modern art exhibit in Los Angeles, "The Exhibition of American Modernists."  While his time in LA, he had a very significant presence in the art world and taught art for many years and held many studios across the world. 

The second piece of art is more abstract and much less realistic than the first. This piece, called Sunrise Synchromy in Violet by the American artist Stanton Macdonald-Wright is an abstract representation of a man waking up under the changing lights of the early morning. The effects of the different colors are similar to how a 3D image is seen as on a screen without wearing the appropriate 3D glasses. The colors all over the picture confuse the audience at first and seem to distract them from the subject of the painting. Once the eyes get adjusted to the color dissonance, the black outline of the man becomes visible. The man is awakening from his sleep and the colors radiating around him indicate a sense of altering light from a window. This color mash up incites a sense of instability or shaky, and reminds one of the groggy feeling in the morning at the moment they just wake up. The vision is blurry and everything seems to be moving quicker than it actually is when one wakes up. This painting is able to capture that instant accurately through the radiation of all these different colors and gives the audience a sense of familiarity with this feeling. 

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