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Artist: Walter Ufer
Title: A Summer Morning
Date: c.1940
Medium: print poster
Dimensions: sheet: 19 × 23 in. (48.3 × 58.4 cm)
Walter Ufer (1876-1936)
c.1940
Walter Ufer
Artist: Raymond Jonson
Title: A. Print 1965 - 12/15
Date: 1965
Medium: Lithograph
Dimensions: Overall: 14 3/4 x 19 11/16 in. (37.5 x 50 cm)
Raymond Jonson United States (1891-1982)
Painter. No stranger to the West, Iowa born Jonson moved often during his childhood. His art training began at the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum School and continued after his 1910 move to Chicago at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Art Institute. Encouraged by his teacher B.J.O. Norfeldt, Jonson became art director at the Chicago Little Theatre. His experimental stage design work and Bauhaus concepts influenced his painting, which took on distinctly abstract qualities in the twenties.

A 1922 summer visit to Santa Fe prompted Jonson’s permanent move to New Mexico two years later. For twenty five years, he taught and painted in Santa Fe, producing rhythmic, sculpturally modeled landscapes, suggestive of a life force underlying the land. In the late thirties, he experimented with airbrush, collage, and spatter techniques. Jonson continued to work in an abstract mode after joining the University of New Mexico faculty in 1949.

References

Jonson, Raymond. Papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Garman. The Art of Raymond Jonson.
McCauley, Elizabeth Anne. Raymond Jonson: The Early Years. Albuquerque: University Art Museum, University of New Mexico, 1980.

Charles Eldredge, Julie Schimmel, and William H. Truettner Art in New Mexico, 1900–1945: Paths to Taos and Santa Fe (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1986)

Raymond Jonson was a leader of the Transcendental Painting Group, an organization of artists formed in New Mexico in 1938. Devoted to nonrepresentational painting, the group aspired ​“to stimulate in others, through deep and spontaneous emotional experiences of form and color, a more intense participation in the life of the spirit.”(1) The search for an artistic approach that went beyond descriptive realism concerned Jonson for most of his life. His early training, first at the school of the Portland, Oregon, art museum in 1909, and during the following three years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, provided a solid technical foundation from which he began more experimental work. When the 1913 Armory Show opened in Chicago, Jonson was especially impressed with Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings. Kandinsky’s book, On the Spiritual in Art, later provided a framework for Jonson’s own ideas about the spiritual purpose of painting.(2)

Between 1913 and 1920, Jonson worked as the graphic art director of the experimental Chicago Little Theater and taught at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.(3) In 1919, he received a fellowship to the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, which for the first time in his life allowed him to concentrate his full energies on painting for four months. The real turning point in his career, however, came three years later, during a summer visit to Santa Fe. Fascinated with the land and with American Indian design, he resolved to return, and in 1924, moved permanently to New Mexico.

Even before he left Chicago, Jonson had begun a series of paintings entitled Earth Rhythms, based on drawings done during his trip. In these paintings he explored the geologic structures of the Southwest in distinctly modernist terms. After his move, he did hundreds of sketches of the hills, mesas, and the eroded landscape, to acquaint himself spiritually with the forms, shapes, and rhythms of New Mexico.(4) His subsequent paintings reflect a dual commitment to the spiritual fulfillment he found in the land and to formal pictorial concerns: ​“I have always felt that there should be a governing sense of arrangement, that is, that a composition usually should have order and most often a simple basic motif of spaces, an interesting variety of shapes and spaces, a balance of line direction.”(5) In the Earth Rhythms series, as well as in paintings of cliff dwellings, the Grand Canyon, and other Southwest landscape motifs, Jonson transformed nature’s elements into highly geometric, rhythmic harmonies.

In 1931, Jonson began a series of abstractions based on letters of the alphabet which he called Variations ona Rhythm. ​“In only a few of them,” he wrote, ​“is there any connection with the so called natural. They are entirely different from the Earth Rhythms. Most of them are entirely abstract except in that they do carry on an established rhythm indicated by the particular letter.… A – H – I are entirely independent of landscape.”(6) InVariations on a Rhythm—H, which he selected to illustrate the brochure for his 1932 exhibition at the Studio Gallery in Chicago, hard edged, architectonic forms exist in illusionistic space. Despite Jonson’s contention that the painting was independent of the landscape, vegetal forms in the lower right corner are residual reminders of Jonson’s deeply felt connection to the land.

Late in 1931, Jonson made an extended trip to New York where he exhibited at the Delphic Studios. Afterward, he remarked not on the Gallatin Collection, or on the move by younger artists toward abstraction, but on paintings by Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and John Marin, whose landscape based abstractions seemed consonant with his own feelings.(7)
In 1934, Jonson began teaching at the University of New Mexico. With Willard Nash, he did a series of murals under the auspices of the Public Works of Art Project, and later became one of the artists not on relief employed by the WPA.
With the formation of the Transcendental Painting Group in 1938, Jonson was in the company of artists who shared similar views about the universal significance of art. They recognized the validity of various stylistic approaches as long as the work was nonrepresentational. In a statement of purpose, they commented that some members achieved the transcendental through ​“more occult and metaphysical” means, while others painted from ​“an intuitive emotional awareness,” or even a more ​“scientific or intellectual balancing of elements.” Whatever their personal inclinations, each sought an art that was ​“vitally rooted in the spiritual need of these times…,” one that expressed ​“most truly creative, fundamental and permanent impulses emerging in the American continent.”(8) Throughout his life, Jonson sought order and unity in his work. Whether abstracted from nature or entirely nonobjective, his paintings, he said, were ​“contrasts to the environment in which they exist.” He continued, ​“Around us we have realism, strife, pain and greed. I wish to present the other side of life, namely the feeling of order, joy and freedom. By setting up my own plastic means I can at least thrill to the attempt of establishing some fundamental principles that are universal and enduring.”(9)

1. ​“Statement of Purpose, Transcendental Painting Group, 1938, in Raymond Jonson Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. I am grateful to Margaret Morse, National Museum of American Art 1988 intern, for her thorough research on Raymond Jonson.

2. In 1932, Jonson wrote to his brother Arthur that Kandinsky ​“is one of if not the foremost worker in the abstract.… If I could buy a modern work and had my choice of all I would, I believe, choose a Kandinsky”; letter dated 5 December 1932, Jonson Papers, Archives of American Art. Jonson also explored the idea put forth by Kandinsky and others that colors could have symbolic meaning. In the Digits series, begun in 1929, each color represented a specific emotion: violet suggested the spiritual, red the physical, etc. See Van Deren Coke, ​“An Interview with Raymond Jonson,” in Raymond Jonson: A Retrospective Exhibition (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1964), p. 9.

3. Van Deren Coke, ​“An Interview with Raymond Jonson,” in Raymond Jonson: A Retrospective Exhibition Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1964), p. 8. B. J. O. Nordfelt was also an important influence for Jonson. They first met about 1911 in Chicago, and resumed their friendship after Jonson moved to Santa Fe. Although they developed very different approaches to art, Nordfelt’s experimental outlook and understanding of modernist art expanded Jonson’s own ideas.

4. Kay Aiken Reeve, Santa Fe and Taos, 1898?1942: An American Cultural Center (El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1982), p.10.

5. Diary entry, 9 January 1923, quoted in Raymond Jonson: Abstract Landscape, 1922–1947 (Albuquerque, N.M.: Jonson Gallery of the University Art Museum, 1988).

6. Raymond Jonson, letter to Arthur Jonson, 29 August 1935, Jonson Papers, Archives of American Art, roll RJ1: 453.

7. In January 1933, Jonson recommended Arthur Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Marin, and Willard Nash for an exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. He wrote to Agnes Pelton (26 September 1933) that the exhibition of Arthur Dove’s work he had seen at Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery during his New York trip ​“remains one of the high spots for me. I sort of see them as a fine addition to ourselves.…,” Jonson Papers, Archives of American Art, roll RJ4: 2568–2569.

8. Statement of Purpose, Transcendental Painting Group, 1938, in Raymond Jonson Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

9. Van Deren Coke, An Interview with Raymond Jonson, in Raymond Jonson: A Retrospective Exhibition (Albuquerque: University of NewMexico Press, 1964), p. 10.


Virginia M. Mecklenburg The Patricia and Phillip Frost Collection: American Abstraction 1930–1945 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press for the National Museum of American Art, 1989)

https://americanart.si.edu/artist/raymond-jonson-2509
1965
Raymond Jonson
Artist: J. Jay McVicker
Title: Abandoned
Date: 1940
Medium: Etching and aquatint
Dimensions: Overall: 14 15/16 x 19 7/8 in. (38 x 50.5 cm) Framed: 18 1/4 x 22 5/16 x 7/8 in. (46.4 x 56.6 x 2.2 cm)
J. Jay McVicker (1911-2004)
1940
J. Jay McVicker
Artist: Gene Kloss
Title: Acoma
Date: 1934
Medium: print
Dimensions: Overall: 13 7/8 x 9 3/4 in. (35.2 x 24.8 cm) Framed: 23 1/8 x 18 3/8 in. (58.7 x 46.7 cm)
Gene Kloss United Stateds (1903-1996)
Born in Oakland, California, in 1903, Kloss grew up in the Bay Area. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with Perham Nahl, her instructor in life class and anatomy, who also gave a course in etching. Amazed by the first print she pulled from the press, Nahl predicted she would be an etcher. Kloss spent two additional years of study at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. In 1925 she married Phillips Kloss, a poet, and they made a honeymoon journey to New Mexico. It was a decisive point in Kloss’s career, initiating a lifelong fascination with the the landscape of the Southwest and the Native American peoples who inhabited the region.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)

Gene Kloss and her husband, the poet Phillips Kloss, were notable figures in the Anglo community of Taos. The couple visited the area in the 1920s while on their honeymoon, and looking back on her first experience of a vibrant southwestern sunset, Gene wrote that ​“I was a New Mexican from then on.” The Klosses lived in Berkeley, California, in the cold months and returned every summer to Taos until they settled there permanently. Phillips crafted poems while Gene produced etchings and paintings of the Pueblo communities and spectacular landscapes. They chose homes that offered inspiring views from every window, and Gene wrote that ​“An artist must keep in close contact with nature and man’s fundamental reliance on nature in order to produce a significant body of work.” (Bradley, Gene Kloss: Graphic Works from Six Decades, 1984)

https://americanart.si.edu/artist/gene-kloss-2664
1934
Gene Kloss
Artist: Joseph Glasco
Title: Adam
Date: c.1980
Medium: Lithograph
Dimensions: Overall: 23 5/8 x 27 9/16 in. (60 x 70 cm) Framed: 31 1/4 x 34 3/4 in. (79.3 x 88.2 cm)
Joseph Glasco United States (1925-1996)
Joseph Glasco (b. 1925, Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma) grew up in Tyler, Texas. After beginning his studies at The University of Texas at Austin, the artist was drafted for service during World War II. After the war, Glasco lived in Dallas for a time and drew advertisements for the Dreyfuss Department Store before continuing his study of painting in Los Angeles and Mexico. In 1949, he moved to New York and attended the Art Students’ League, where he studied with George Grosz. His friendship with the collector Alphonso Ossorio introduced him to several major artists of the time, including Jackson Pollock and Jean Dubuffet. Glasco quickly became an active participant in New York’s gay artistic and literary circles.

In 1952, Glasco was invited to participate in a groundbreaking exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art titled Fifteen Americans. The exhibition also featured the work of William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still. Recognized as a skilled painter with unique vision at an early age, Glasco became the youngest artist at that time to be included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York when the institution acquired one of his drawings in 1949.

Glasco’s early work featured stylized representational forms, which in later decades shifted to a heavily patterned, geometric approach to the figure. In the late seventies, Glasco left figural work behind to explore abstract collage paintings. For the last decade of his life, Glasco lived and painted in Galveston. Works by Glasco are included in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

https://talleydunn.com/project/the-estate-of-joseph-glasco/
c.1980
Joseph Glasco
Artist: Doel Reed
Title: Adobe and Wild Plum
Date: 1965
Medium: aquatint
Dimensions: Overall: 14 15/16 x 18 5/16 in. (38 x 46.5 cm)
Doel Reed United States (1894 - 1985)
Remembered as an important member of the Taos art community after 1960, Doel Reed achieved an international reputation as a landscape artist and printmaker, and as a master of aquatint. His paintings and aquatints were earth-toned and geometric in style and featured architectural forms of the New Mexico landscape.

He was born in Logansport, Indiana, and from 1924 until 1959, chaired the art department at Oklahoma State University. Then he moved to Talpa, near Taos, New Mexico where he and his family had been spending many summers and he had done and he did much sketching in Arizona and New Mexico, especially the countryside and pueblos near Talpa. His method of working was to sketch in the field and then complete the paintings in his studio.

He first pursued architecture but enjoying drawing, enrolled at the Art Academy of Cincinnati from 1916 to 1917 and 1919 to 1920. He served in World War I and was gassed and temporarily blinded. After months in base hospitals in France, he returned to the Art Academy and became interested in graphics. However, in those days, there were few schools specializing in that subject, so he was largely self taught. In 1952, he was elected to the National Academy of Design.

He wrote a book, Doel Reed Makes an Aquatint, published 1965, and known for oils and caseins, he earned much fame from his aquatints.

An article titled 'Doel Reed Haunted by Nature's Moods', by M.J. Van Deventer, was in Southwest Art, August 1985 (p 58)


Source:

Dean Porter and Teresa Ebie, Taos Artists and Their Patrons
Peggy and Harold Samuels, The Illustrated Biographical Encylopedia of Artists of the American West

His historic Taos studio has been created as the Doel Reed Center
http://drca.okstate.edu/doel-reed-bio
1965
Doel Reed
Artist: Gene Kloss
Title: Adobe House and Taos Mountain
Date: 1960
Medium: Etching
Dimensions: Overall: 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. (27.3 x 34.9 cm)
Media File
Gene Kloss United Stateds (1903-1996)
Born in Oakland, California, in 1903, Kloss grew up in the Bay Area. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she studied with Perham Nahl, her instructor in life class and anatomy, who also gave a course in etching. Amazed by the first print she pulled from the press, Nahl predicted she would be an etcher. Kloss spent two additional years of study at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. In 1925 she married Phillips Kloss, a poet, and they made a honeymoon journey to New Mexico. It was a decisive point in Kloss’s career, initiating a lifelong fascination with the the landscape of the Southwest and the Native American peoples who inhabited the region.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)

Gene Kloss and her husband, the poet Phillips Kloss, were notable figures in the Anglo community of Taos. The couple visited the area in the 1920s while on their honeymoon, and looking back on her first experience of a vibrant southwestern sunset, Gene wrote that ​“I was a New Mexican from then on.” The Klosses lived in Berkeley, California, in the cold months and returned every summer to Taos until they settled there permanently. Phillips crafted poems while Gene produced etchings and paintings of the Pueblo communities and spectacular landscapes. They chose homes that offered inspiring views from every window, and Gene wrote that ​“An artist must keep in close contact with nature and man’s fundamental reliance on nature in order to produce a significant body of work.” (Bradley, Gene Kloss: Graphic Works from Six Decades, 1984)

https://americanart.si.edu/artist/gene-kloss-2664
1960
Gene Kloss