Wednesday, August 14, 2013


SYNCHRONISM is a lesser known art movement started by two American artists around 1912..  Stanton MacDonald-Wright and Morgan Russell were abstract artists who based their paintings on a approach that analogized color to music;  the idea that color and sound are similar phenomena.  Colors in a painting can be composed harmoniously in the same way musical notes are arranged in a symphony..  MacDonald-Wright and Russell believed that their visual works could evoke the same complex sensations as music, by painting in color scales using rhythmic color forms with progressing and regressing hues.

In MacDonald-Wright's words, "synchronism simply means 'with color', as symphony means 'with sound'".  The "hearing"  of color, or the paring of two or more senses, known as "synthesia", was also  a theme of Wassily Kandinsky's work.

Though it was short-lived, it became the first American avant-garde art movement to receive international attention.  The synchronist movement was influenced by Canadian painter, Percyval Tudor-Hart's  theory of color/sound connection as well as by the world of Impressionist painters, Cezanne and Matisse, whose works heavily centered on color as opposed to drawing.

Image above, synchronist painting by Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Color, Myth, and Music..

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