The tradition of Tonalism has permeated American landscape painting for centuries. Championed by masters George Inness, Wolf Kahn, James McNeill Whistler, and Birge Harrison, the genre has been carried on by those who have studied their techniques and approaches, like contemporary painter John MacDonald (b. 1957).
A student and mentee of Tonalist master Curt Hanson (1945-2016), John MacDonald’s ethereal landscapes encompass the key components of the genre: subtle color tones, depiction of atmosphere, the use of soft-edged, abstracted forms to create an immediacy of emotional response, and an overall emphasis on the mood of a scene over the representational depiction of place. These elements, when purposefully employed, create the striking, bold, and poetically-charged landscapes that MacDonald is known for.
“Tonalism Now” is a contemporary look at a historical genre, featuring new paintings by John MacDonald hung beside those of his mentor, Curt Hanson. The stylistic lineage that exists between these two artists is explored in this exhibition, highlighting the importance of carrying on this historical genre through a contemporary lens.
On View May 8 – June 25, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, May 12 from 5 to 9pm