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Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Synchromy in Green and Orange (1916)


Walker Art Center



Institution Walker Art Center
"[Synchromy] is to color what symphony is to sound, it means everything is done with color."--Stanton Macdonald-Wright

Stanton Macdonald-Wright moved to Paris in 1906 during the formative years of Cubism. Though Cubism was the strongest influence on his style of painting, he opposed its linear and monochromatic tendencies. As a result, Macdonald-Wright and Morgan Russell (another American artist living in Paris) developed a theory of painting they called Synchromism. Their goal was to make color the subject of their paintings in the same way that musical tone is the subject of symphonic compositions. They also incorporated ideas from the latest scientific theories of color "behavior." In this work, orange, green, and purple--the three secondaries on the color wheel--form a "dominant chord" that produces, according to Synchromist theory, a feeling of harmony in the viewer.

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Type: Commentary, curriculum resource
Source: Text for Stanton Macdonald-Wright, Synchromy in Green and Orange (1916), from the curriculum guide So, Why Is This Art?, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2002.
Rights: Copyright 2002 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009