Stanton Macdonald‑Wright

Stanton Macdonald‑Wright

American, 1890–1973
Still-Life Synchromy
1917, oil on canvas, 56.4 x 76.2 cm (22 1/8 x 30 1/4 in.)

In 1913 Macdonald-Wright, a young American artist living in Paris, boldly declared a new artistic style, which he (along with fellow American Morgan Russell) called synchromism. Abstract, colorful, and rhythmic, the style found parallels with music. In the artist’s words, “I strive to divest my art of all anecdote and illustration and to purify it to the point where the emotions of the spectator will be wholly aesthetic, as when listening to good music.” Still-Life Synchromy was painted in 1917, after Macdonald-Wright had returned to the States. Its fractured composition disguises subject matter, though careful inspection reveals a pitcher on the right, an apple that seems to float above, and perhaps a figure in the background.