Saturday, November 16, 2013

Name The Artist

The correct answer is not the expected one.

This is one of my favorite paintings at The Walker Art Center, which has a very, very weak permanent collection, totally at variance with the museum’s somewhat puzzling high reputation.

When Philippe de Montebello retired from the Metropolitan Museum Of Art in 2008, he gave a noted farewell interview in which he harshly criticized American art museums for focusing on extraneous pursuits at the expense of building collections.

Although Montebello did not mention any institutions by name, everyone understood that Montebello was referring to The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the High Museum Of Art in Atlanta, both of which feature constant barrages of highly-publicized and highly-promoted peripheral activities—while lacking permanent collections worth viewing.


  1. I Don't know. Color use evokes for me Auguste Macke, or maybe even Paul Klee. Please don't say it's an Andy Warhol.

  2. The artist is not Warhol. Nor is it Kandinsky, Klee, Marc or Macke.

  3. The artist is the minor American painter, Stanton MacDonald-Wright (1890-1973), and the painting is “Synchromy In Green And Orange” from 1916—although its true title should be “Stealing From Current Trends In European Modernism”.

    Purely derivative though it be (which is why it is a good “stump the panel” artwork), the painting is undeniably beautiful.

  4. No wonder. I am not familiar with MacDonald-Wright's work. I agree that this painting is arresting. I suspected that it might be a pastiche.

    Since I have never been to the Walker Art Center, I did a search of the collections which appeared on the museum website, hoping that "SynchroNy (?)" would show up. I admit that I was not impressed by what I saw online.

  5. The collection is very poor.

    But the Walker has a great Franz Marc.

  6. MacDonald-Wright titled it "Synchromy", not "Synchrony", or so the Walker claims.

    Don't ask me why . . .

    1. Oh, shucks, Andrew, you've ruined my opportunity! I was hoping for another misspelling that would allow me to facetiously indict your right pointing finger, considering your seeming obsession with a certain mediocre cellist.