"Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the 1920s through the 1970s"


Paintings, Drawings, Watercolors and Prints from the 1920s through the1970s
August 4 - 31, 2001

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Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Nicholas P. Brigante each occupy an important place in the history and development of Modern Art. "Stan", originally from Virginia, and "Nick", born in Padua, Italy, each came to Los Angeles as children. Possessing vastly different personalities, these two artists are linked by their ability to see beyond the tradition of Western art and in their belief in Los Angeles as an art center. Although in different ways, they shared an affinity towards Asian aesthetics.

In 1907 Macdonald-Wright traveled to Paris to study and in 1913 with fellow artist and friend, Morgan Russell, founded Synchromism. After exhibiting in Europe and New York, Macdonald-Wright returned home to Los Angeles in 1919. Macdonald-Wright and Nick Brigante first crossed paths at the Los Angeles Art Students' League, in which Brigante had participated before the War and which Macdonald-Wright joined in 1919 and would later direct.

Brigante first attended the Art Students' League in 1911 where he met his mentor, Rex Slinkard. After serving in the army, he returned to Los Angeles at the close of the War and rejoined the League. After exhibiting works at LACMA, he joined in the 1923 'Group of Independent Artists' show, organized at the League by Macdonald-Wright. When that show closed, Brigante and his new bride moved to New York, where his watercolors were exhibited alongside those of Demuth, Marin, Feitelson and others. Brigante returned to Los Angeles in 1925 and built a home for himself and his Francisca in the Hollywood Hills.

While Brigante preferred the secluded environment of the Hills, Stanton Macdonald-Wright was more extroverted and worked actively in the community. By the mid-1930s, as a regional advisor for the Federal Arts Project of the WPA, he created a commissioned mural for the Santa Monica Public Library. Between 1942 - 1953, upon termination of the FAP/WPA, Macdonald-Wright taught Eastern philosophy/aesthetics, art history, and iconography at UCLA .

In retirement, Macdonald-Wright made art, creating both abstract and figurative works, extending Synchromist techniques, while dividing his time between Kyoto, Japan and his Santa Monica home. Simultaneously, Brigante pursued intuitive painting and the subconscious, using his mastery of ink wash and creating multiple series of works including the "Burnt Mountain," "Tide Pools," and "Winds and Mists."

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