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Stanton Macdonald-Wright
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Charlottesville, VA
Death Date: 
Born in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 1890. Died on August 22, 1973. A problem child and difficult student, Wright (or Macdonald-Wright as he is also known) ran away from home on a windjammer and arrived in Los Angeles in 1901. His art studies were begun locally at the ASL and with Joseph Greenbaum. In 1907 he journeyed to Paris for further study at the Sorbonne, Academies Julian, Beaux Arts, and Colarossi. In Paris he and artist Morgan Russell developed an art style which they termed Synchromism in which color generates form. They co-exibited in Paris and Munich in 1913 and in New York in 1914. Upon returning to the US in 1916, Wright was active on the East Coast until his return to California in 1919. Settling in LA, he turned from Synchromism to a more oriental approach to art, and produced the first full-length stop-motion film ever made in full color. He was director of the ASL of LA from 1923-30. During the 1930s he served as regional advisor for seven states on the WPA art program. One of his commissions for the WPA was the large mural in the Santa Monica Public Library. From 1942-52 he taught oriental aesthetics, art history, and iconography at UCLA. Upon retirement, he devoted full time to painting, dividing his time between Kyoto Japan and his home in Santa Monica. His work alternated throughout his career between pure abstractions and figural representations. Eugen Neuhaus put it succinctly in his "History and Ideals of American Art," "Wright apparently attempts to correlate music with painting, as indicated in his emphasis upon strongly moving dynamic rhythms clothed in the hues of the spectrum." (Hughes)