Transcendental Painting Group, 1938–1942
The Transcendental Painting Group was formed in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, between June and October 1938 by Emil Bisttram, Robert Gribbroek, Lawren Harris, Raymond Jonson, William Lumpkins, Florence Miller, Horace Towner Pierce, and Stuart Walker. Agnes Pelton was voted in as a member in absentia and Ed Garman was invited to join the group in 1941. Alfred Morang and Dane Rudhyar, important non-artist members, contributed intellectual theory and criticism to the group.
By 1939, members of the group exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Later that year, a portion of the group exhibits at the New York World’s Fair. Also in 1939, the group exhibited together at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe and at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
In 1940, Lawren Harris returned to his native country of Canada, and Stuart Walker passed away. Important exhibitions featuring a few of the Transcendental Painting Group artists occurred in New York at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting (now known as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation) and at the Museum of Modern Art.
The United States entered World War II at the end of 1941. By late 1942, Jonson effectively concluded the Transcendental Painting Group by asking Dane Rudhyar and Lawren Harris to sign the corporate dissolution documents.
The Jonsons visit Agnes Pelton in Cathedral City, CA, in December 1935.
The first organizational meeting of the Transcendental Painting Group is held at the Jonsons’ home in Santa Fe on June 7; the second is held at Emil Bisttram’s house in Taos on June 10. The New Mexico Museum of Art has an exhibition of Dane Rudhyar’s paintings in October. The Transcendental Painting Group is officially incorporated in the fall. Jonson stops titling his individual artworks, instead using a system of medium and numbers; he also begins using an airbrush technique.
A selection of Transcendental Painting Group paintings is shown at the Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco in January.
The Museum of Non-Objective Painting (later known as the Guggenheim Museum) in New York mounts an exhibition of Transcendental Painting Group paintings.
Raymond Jonson invites Ed Garman to join the Transcendental Painting Group. The United States enters World War II in December.
The Transcendental Painting Group concludes in July. World War II ends in September.