Transcendental painting group


New Mexico artists dedicated to educating a resistant public to abstract and non-objective art, they were active with exhibitions between 1938 and 1942. Organizing members were Raymond Jonson, Emil Bisttram, Lawren Harris, Ed Garman, Robert Gribbroek, William Lumpkins, Agnes Pelton, Florence Miller Pierce, Horace Towner Pierce and Stuart Walker. Dane Rudhyar and Alfred Morang may have been members, but scholars are debating their status. Rudhyar began painting seriously in the TPG modernist style somewhat later than the others, and Morang was active with the foundation but conflicting references exist about his TPG status. Their stated purpose in their manifesto was "to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world through new concepts of space, color, light and design, to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual." They formed the American Foundation for Transcendental Painting, which expanded facilitating tasks to persons beyond the TPG painters and resulted in systematic collection methods and permanent location for exhibitions and collections. The TPG, influenced by Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian, reflected a movement towards abstraction in other parts of the country that came to ascendancy from the mid 20th Century. Although the Transcendental Painting Group had long-term stylistic influence on Southwest artists, it terminated as a formal entity with World War II. The Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museums, opened in 1950, houses work by Transcendental painters and is named for TPG leader, Raymond Jonson. Source: Tiska Blankenship, "Vision and Spirit: The Transcendental Painting Group", exhibition catalogue, Jonson Gallery, May 27-August 15, 1997. Courtesy, Paul Parker (LPD)

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