synchromist, n., adj.
/sing"kreuh miz'euhm/, n. (sometimes cap.)
a movement of the early 20th century led by American artists and manifested in their experimentation with nonfigurative or entirely abstract paintings containing shapes and volumes of pure color. Cf. Orphism (def. 2).
[1910-15; SYN- + CHROM- + -ISM]

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Art movement concerned with the purely abstract use of colour.

Founded in Paris in 1912–13 by the U.S. artists Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Morgan Russell, Synchromism ("colours together") was based on theories of colour with analogies to musical patterns. It has much in common with the Orphism of Robert Delaunay. The first Synchromist work, Russell's Synchromy in Green (1913), was exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1913. Synchromism briefly attracted several other U.S. artists, including Thomas Hart Benton.

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▪ art movement
      art movement begun by American painters Morgan Russell (Russell, Morgan) and Stanton Macdonald-Wright (Macdonald-Wright, Stanton) in 1913–14 that focused on colour. At the time, the two artists were living in Paris, painting abstract works they called “synchromies.” In a 1916 statement on Synchromism, Macdonald-Wright described how he purified his paintings to create effects through rhythmic colour forms, explaining that “color, in order to function significantly, must be used as an abstract medium.” Although the multicoloured forms in their paintings strongly resembled the whirling circles of the Orphist (Orphism) paintings of Robert Delaunay (Delaunay, Robert) and František Kupka (Kupka, František), Russell and Macdonald-Wright claimed that their work was original.

      In 1913 the first Synchromist painting, Russell's Synchromy in Green, was exhibited at the Paris Salon des Indépendants. In the same year, the Synchromists held their first exhibition, in Munich, followed by one in Paris at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune. In March 1914 their works were shown at the Carroll Gallery, New York City. Synchromism briefly attracted several American painters, among them Thomas Hart Benton (Benton, Thomas Hart), Patrick Henry Bruce, and Andrew Dasburg. Although Russell and Macdonald-Wright abandoned Synchromism about 1919, returning to representational works, they were important pioneers of American abstract (Abstract Expressionism) art.

Additional Reading
William C. Agee, Synchromism and Color Principles in American Painting, 1910–1930 (1965); Gail Levin, Synchromism and American Color Abstraction, 1910–1925 (1978).

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Universalium. 2010.

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