Initiated in Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, in 1938, the Transcendental Painting Group (TPG) transformed the dramatic natural surroundings of the Southwest into luminous reflections of the human spirit. Under the guidance of New Mexico painters 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 explored a heightened vision of the American landscape, employing the freewheeling imagery of Surrealism to depict a transfigured, spiritually alive America. The TPG issued a manifesto stating that their purpose 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.” This traveling museum exhibition, organized by the Crocker, features approximately 85 works and is the first outside New Mexico to fully survey the remarkable art of the TPG.
Full image caption: Agnes Lawrence Pelton, Winter, 1933. Oil on canvas, 30 x 28 in. 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, Aj and Susana Mollinet Watson, and other donors, 2013.54.
This exhibition was 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.