Framed: 24 5/8 x 20 10/16 inches
Stanton MacDonald-Wright was born in Charlottesville, VA on July 8, 1890. He moved with his family to California in 1900 when his father became manager of the Arcadia Hotel in Santa Monica, California. The proverbial "enfant terrible" or "problem child", Stanton ran away from home on a windjammer when he was only eleven years old. Because the family moved so frequently, Stanton's father provided him with private tutors and art lessons with Warren Hedges and Joseph Greenbaum at the Arts Students League in Los Angeles in 1906. Expelled the next year in 1907 from military school over allegations of vandalism, young Stanton married at the age of seventeen.
In 1909 he left for Europe with his new wife and mother-in-law, settling in Paris, where he took a studio and continued to study art at the Sorbonne, Académies Julian, Beaux Arts, and Colarossi. In order to not be confused with the architect Frank Lloyd Wright or the aviator Wilbur Wright Stanton soon hyphenated his last name with Macdonald. While in Paris he met Morgan Russell, another young expatriate American artist, who introduced him to Ernest Percyval Tudor-Hart, a Canadian artist and color theorist, with whom both began to study. Inspired by European modernism, including the work of the Futurists and Robert and Sonia Delaunay Russell and Macdonald-Wright coined the term Synchromism using Greek elements meaning "system of combining color" in which they touted their thesis that color could generate form. They launched their new movement in Munich and Paris with co-exhibitions and shows in 1913. In New York in 1914 the Carroll Galleries mounted a show entitled, Exhibition of Synchromist paintings by Morgan Russell and S. Macdonald-Wright.
Untitled, 1945 (Still Life with Game Board and Wine) exemplifies the evolution of Stanton Macdonald-Wright's artistic style from abstraction to figuration. This painting uniquely combines both of these elements, along with strong diagonals and loose, gestural line, and creates a whimsical composition that embodies an evening of games, wine and glamour. After being exposed to the art and philosophies of the Far East, Macdonald-Wright began to incorporate these teachings into his work. At this time Macdonald-Wright was teaching Oriental aesthetics, art history and iconography at UCLA. The influence of oriental art is seen in the flatness of the painting. A deviation from his synchromy series, this painting embodies the height of abstraction.