Synchromism was an art movement founded in 1912 by American artists Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890–1973) and Morgan Russell (1886–1953). Their abstract "synchromies," based on an approach to painting that analogized color to music, were among the first abstract paintings in American art. Though it was short-lived and did not attract many adherents, Synchromism became the first American avant-garde art movement to receive international attention.  One of the difficulties inherent in describing Synchromism as a coherent style is connected to the fact that some Synchromist works are purely abstract while others include representational imagery.
Synchromism is based on the idea that color and sound are similar phenomena and that the colors in a painting can be orchestrated in the same harmonious way that a composer arranges notes in a symphony.  Macdonald-Wright and Russell believed that, by painting in color scales, their visual work could evoke the same complex sensations as music. As Macdonald-Wright said,"Synchromism simply means 'with color' as symphony means 'with sound.'"  The phenomenon of "hearing" a color or the pairing of two or more senses--synesthesia—was also central to the work of Wassily Kandinsky, who was developing his own synesthetic paintings, or "compositions," in Europe at approximately the same time.
The abstract "synchromies" are based on color scales, using rhythmic color forms with advancing and reducing hues. They typically have a central vortex and explode in complex color harmonies. The Synchromists avoided using atmospheric perspective or line, relying solely on color and shape to express form.  Macdonald-Wright and Russell were among a number of avant-garde artists at work in the period immediately before World War I who believed that realism in the visual arts had long since reached a point of exhaustion and that, to be meaningful in the modern world, painting needed to sever any ties to older ideas about perspective and to literary or anecdotal content.
The earliest Synchromist works were similar to Fauvist paintings. The multi-colored shapes of Synchromist paintings also loosely resembled those found in the Orphism of Robert and Sonia Delaunay.  Macdonald-Wright insisted, however, that Synchromism was a unique art form and "has nothing to do with Orphism and anybody who has read the first catalogue of Synchromism ... would realize that we poked fun at Orphism." The Synchromists' debts to Orphism remain a source of debate among art historians. Their approach more clearly owed something to Cubism. The Synchromists made use of the broken planes of the Cubists, but their lavishly colored areas of paint sometimes looked, as the art historian Abraham Davidson has described them, like "eddies of mist, the droplets of which collect to form parts of a straining torso....To find anything like this in American painting one has to wait for the color-field canvases of Jules Olitski in the 1960s." 
Synchromism was developed by Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Morgan Russell while they were studying in Paris during the early 1910s.  In 1907, Stanton Macdonald-Wright studied the ideas of optical scientists such as Michel-Eugene Chevreul, Hermann von Helmholtz, and Ogden Rood in order to further develop color theory influenced by musical harmonies.  Then from 1911 to 1913, they both studied under the Canadian painter Percyval Tudor-Hart, whose color theory connected qualities of color to qualities of music, such as tone to hue and intensity to saturation.  Also influential upon Macdonald-Wright and Russell were the Impressionists, Cézanne and Matisse with their emphasis of color over drawing.  In addition to the Cubists and Impressionists, Macdonald-Wright and Russell were also inspired by artists such as Émile Bernard, who was a Cloisonnist, and the Synthetist Paul Gauguin for their unique explorations of the properties and effects of color.  Russell coined the term "Synchromism" in 1912, in an express attempt to convey the linkage of painting and music.
The first Synchromist painting, Russell's Synchromy in Green, exhibited at the Paris Salon des Indépendants in 1913. Later that year, the first Synchromist exhibition by Macdonald-Wright and Russell was shown in Munich.  Exhibitions followed in Paris in October 1913 and in New York in March 1914. Macdonald-Wright moved back to the United States in 1914, but he and Russell continued separately to paint abstract synchromies.  Synchromism remained influential among artists well into the 1920s, though its purely abstract period was relatively brief.  Many synchromies of the late 1910s and 1920s contain representational elements. At no time, though, did Macdonald-Wright or Russell achieve the level of critical or commercial success they had hoped for when they introduced Synchromism to the United States. It was not until after Russell's death and late in Macdonald-Wright's life that extensive museum and scholarly attention was paid to their highly original achievements. Other American painters who experimented with Synchromism include Thomas Hart Benton (1889–1975), Andrew Dasburg (1887–1979), Patrick Henry Bruce (1880–1936), and Albert Henry Krehbiel (1873–1945). 
The earliest extended discussion of Synchromism appeared in the book Modern Painting: Its Tendency and Meaning (1915) by Willard Huntington Wright. Wright was a literary editor and art critic and the brother of Stanton Macdonald-Wright, and the book was secretly co-authored by Stanton. It surveyed the major modern art movements from Manet to Cubism, praised the work of Cézanne (at the time relatively unknown in the United States), denigrated "lesser Moderns" such as Kandinsky and the Futurists (and, of course, the Orphists), and predicted a coming age in which color abstraction would supplant representational art. Synchromism is presented in the book as the culminating point in the evolution of modernism. Willard Huntington Wright never acknowledged that he was writing about his own brother's work. 
Three other extended treatments of Synchromism can be found in the catalogue by Gail Levin that accompanied a major traveling exhibition organized the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1978, Synchromism and American Color Abstraction, 1910–1925, in Marilyn Kushner's catalogue for a 1990 Morgan Russell retrospective at the Montclair Museum, and in Color, Myth, and Music: Stanton Macdonald-Wright and Synchromism by Will South, a catalogue-biography published in conjunction with a three-museum exhibition of the artist's work in 2001. Levin and South are the two art historians most responsible for attracting scholarly and public attention to Synchromism, a movement that has often occupied a minor place in twentieth-century art-history textbooks.
Modern art includes artistic work produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the styles and philosophies of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of experimentation. Modern artists experimented with new ways of seeing and with fresh ideas about the nature of materials and functions of art. A tendency away from the narrative, which was characteristic for the traditional arts, toward abstraction is characteristic of much modern art. More recent artistic production is often called contemporary art or postmodern art.
Abstract art uses visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new kind of art which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy. The sources from which individual artists drew their theoretical arguments were diverse, and reflected the social and intellectual preoccupations in all areas of Western culture at that time.
Visual art of the United States or American art is visual art made in the United States or by U.S. artists. Before colonization there were many flourishing traditions of Native American art, and where the Spanish colonized Spanish Colonial architecture and the accompanying styles in other media were quickly in place. Early colonial art on the East Coast initially relied on artists from Europe, with John White the earliest example. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, artists primarily painted portraits, and some landscapes in a style based mainly on English painting. Furniture-makers imitating English styles and similar craftsmen were also established in the major cities, but in the English colonies, locally made pottery remained resolutely utilitarian until the 19th century, with fancy products imported.
An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a specific period of time, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years. Art movements were especially important in modern art, when each consecutive movement was considered as a new avant-garde movement. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an attempt to reproduce an illusion of visible reality. By the end of the 19th century many artists felt a need to create a new style which would encompass the fundamental changes taking place in technology, science and philosophy.
Stanton Macdonald-Wright, was a modern American artist. He was a co-founder of Synchromism, an early abstract, color-based mode of painting, which was the first American avant-garde art movement to receive international attention.
Robert Delaunay was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, co-founded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works were more abstract. His key influence related to bold use of colour and a clear love of experimentation with both depth and tone.
František Kupka, also known as Frank Kupka or François Kupka, was a Czech painter and graphic artist. He was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism (Orphism). Kupka's abstract works arose from a base of realism, but later evolved into pure abstract art.
Morgan Russell was a modern American artist. With Stanton Macdonald-Wright, he was the founder of Synchromism, a provocative style of abstract painting that dates from 1912 to the 1920s. Russell's "synchromies," which analogized color to music, were an early American contribution to the rise of Modernism.
S. S. Van Dine is the pseudonym used by American art critic Willard Huntington Wright when he wrote detective novels. Wright was active in avant-garde cultural circles in pre-World War I New York, and under the pseudonym he created the fictional detective Philo Vance, a sleuth and aesthete who first appeared in books in the 1920s, then in films and on the radio.
Orphism or Orphic Cubism, a term coined by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in 1912, was an offshoot of Cubism that focused on pure abstraction and bright colors, influenced by Fauvism, the theoretical writings of Paul Signac, Charles Henry and the dye chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul. This movement, perceived as key in the transition from Cubism to Abstract art, was pioneered by František Kupka, Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, who relaunched the use of color during the monochromatic phase of Cubism. The meaning of the term Orphism was elusive when it first appeared and remains to some extent vague.
Geometric abstraction is a form of abstract art based on the use of geometric forms sometimes, though not always, placed in non-illusionistic space and combined into non-objective (non-representational) compositions. Although the genre was popularized by avant-garde artists in the early twentieth century, similar motifs have been used in art since ancient times.
American modernism, much like the modernism movement in general, is a trend of philosophical thought arising from the widespread changes in culture and society in the age of modernity. American modernism is an artistic and cultural movement in the United States beginning at the turn of the 20th century, with a core period between World War I and World War II. Like its European counterpart, American modernism stemmed from a rejection of Enlightenment thinking, seeking to better represent reality in a new, more industrialized world.
Ida Rittenberg Kohlmeyer was an American painter and sculptor who lived and worked in Louisiana. Kohlmeyer took up painting in her 30s and achieved wide recognition for her work in art museums and galleries throughout the United States. Notably, her work is held by the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Ms. Kohlmeyer, a member of the Reform Jewish movement, played an active role in the New Orleans Jewish community throughout her life. Touro Synagogue displays much of her artwork in their synagogue and in the social hall.
Charles Henry Caffin was an Anglo-American writer and art critic, born in Sittingbourne, Kent, England. After graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1876, with a broad background in culture and aesthetics, he engaged in scholastic and theatrical work. In 1888, he married Caroline Scurfield, a British actress and writer. They had two children, daughters Donna and Freda Caffin. In 1892, he moved to the United States. He worked in the decoration department of the Chicago Exposition, and after moving to New York City in 1897, he was the art critic of Harper's Weekly, the New York Evening Post, the New York Sun (1901–04), the International Studio, and the New York American. His publications are of a popular rather than a scholarly character, but he was an important early if equivocal advocate of modern art in America. His writings were suggestive and stimulating to laymen and encouraged interest in many fields of art. One of his last books, Art for Life's Sake (1913), described his philosophy, which argued that the arts must be seen as "an integral part of life....[not] an orchid-like parasite on life" or a specialized or elite indulgence. He also argued strenuously for art education in American elementary schools and high schools and was a frequent lecturer.
Harry Lee Gatch, was a twentieth-century American artist known for his lyrical abstractions and his ability to find "a fresh approach" to painting the figure and nature "through interwoven patterns of flattened figures" and a Fauvist-inspired sense of landscape.
Will Barnet was an American artist known for his paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints depicting the human figure and animals, both in casual scenes of daily life and in transcendent dreamlike worlds.
Twentieth-century art—and what it became as modern art—began with modernism in the late nineteenth century.
The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity until the present time. Until the mid-19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the history of painting:
20th-century Western painting begins with the heritage of late-19th-century painters Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and others who were essential for the development of modern art. At the beginning of the 20th century, Henri Matisse and several other young artists including the pre-cubist Georges Braque, André Derain, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck, revolutionized the Paris art world with "wild", multi-colored, expressive landscapes and figure paintings that the critics called Fauvism. Matisse's second version of The Dance signified a key point in his career and in the development of modern painting. It reflected Matisse's incipient fascination with primitive art: the intense warm color of the figures against the cool blue-green background and the rhythmical succession of the dancing nudes convey the feelings of emotional liberation and hedonism.