The Transcendental Painting Group
Agnes Pelton (American, b. Germany, 1881-1961). Winter, 1933. Oil on canvas, 30 x 28 inches. Crocker Art Museum Purchase; Paul LeBaron Thiebaud, George and Bea Gibson Fund, Denise and Donald C. Timmons, Melza and Ted Barr, Sandra Jones, Linda M. Lawrence, Nancy Lawrence and Gordon Klein, Nancy S. And Dennis N. Marks, William L. Snider and Brian Cameron, Stephenson Foundation, Alan Templeton, A.J. and Susana Mollinet Watson and other donors, 2013.54.
March 26 – July 24, 2022
Located on the second floor of The Baker Museum
Toward the end of the Great Depression, a loose configuration of artists organized to promote an alternative to the social realist and regional art that then dominated the art world. Initiated in New Mexico in 1938, the Transcendental Painting Group set out to explore spiritually heightened abstraction, employing free-wheeling symbols and imagery drawn from the collective unconscious. Under the guidance of Raymond Jonson and Emil Bisttram, artists Agnes Pelton, Lawren Harris, Florence Miller Pierce, Horace Pierce, Robert Gribbroek, William Lumpkins, Dane Rudhyar, Stuart Walker and Ed Garman sought, per their manifesto, “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.”
Inspired by the ideas of artist and theorist Wassily Kandinsky, as well as by American painters Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe, these artists evoked sensuous, synesthetic experiences of nature and ideas, creating works that embodied a higher spiritual reality. Though the group dispersed during World War II, their paintings were an important chapter in the history of modern painting and 20th-century American art, today providing a compelling heritage for contemporary artists seeking to create spiritually evocative abstractions.
Another World: The Transcendental Painting Group is organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, and is curated by Michael Duncan. The presentation of this exhibition at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum is curated by Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., Curator of Modern Art. This exhibition is made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation. The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders and fostering international understanding. Established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time, Inc., the Luce Foundation advances its mission through grantmaking and leadership programs in the fields of Asia, higher education, religion and theology, art and public policy.
A leader in arts funding in the United States, the Luce Foundation's American Art Program was established in 1982 to support museums, universities and arts organizations in their efforts to advance the understanding and experience of American and Native American visual arts through research, exhibitions, publications and collection projects.
Visit the Exhibition
Reserve your museum tickets online.
Emil Bisttram (American, b. Romania, 1895-1976). Oversoul, c. 1941. Oil on Masonite, 35 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches. Private collection.
Robert Gribbroek (American, 1906-1971). Composition #57 / Pattern 29, 1938. Oil on canvas, 36 x 27 inches. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The Harriet and Maurice Gregg Collection of American Abstract Art, 2019.42.
Stuart Walker (American, 1904-1940). Composition 55 (Convergence), 1938. Oil on canvas, 44 x 35 inches. Courtesy of the Jean Pigozzi Collection.
Florence Miller Pierce (American, 1918-2007). Blue Forms, 1942. Oil on canvas, 29 ¾ x 34 inches. Collection of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, New York.
Horace Pierce (American, 1916-1958). Symphony #2, 1949-1952. Airbrushed watercolor and gouache on paper, 9 x 11 inches. Albuquerque Museum, museum purchase, 1992 General Obligation Bonds, PC1992.9.1.D.
Lawren Harris (Canadian, 1885-1970). Abstract Painting, No. 95, 1939. Oil on canvas, 56 x 46 ½ inches. Collection of Georgia and Michael de Havenon, New York.
William Lumpkins (American, 1909-2000). Untitled, ca. 1940. Watercolor on paper, 14 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, gift of Alice C. Simkins, 2018.15.
Raymond Jonson (American, 1891-1982). Oil No. 2, 1942. Oil on canvas, 42 x 36 inches. Crocker Art Museum Purchase, George and Bea Gibson Fund with contributions from Barbara and William Hyland and Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2015.25.
Ed Garman (American, 1914-2004). Abstract No. 276, 1942. Oil on Masonite, 30 x 30 inches. Collection of Shane Qualls, Cincinnati, Ohio.
April 5 at 2pm
Another World: The Transcendental Painting Group is organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA, and is curated by Michael Duncan. The presentation of this exhibition at Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum is curated by Rangsook Yoon, Ph.D., Curator of Modern Art. This exhibition is made possible with support from the Henry Luce Foundation.