Raymond Jonson was one of New Mexico's most influential forces in modernism and the successive innovations of 20th century art. After his student years in Chicago, Jonson became the lighting and stage designer for the Chicago Little Theater, one of America's most important avant-garde theaters. There he also saw the work of Vassily Kandinsky for the first time and became familiar with Kandinsky's treatise, The Spiritual in Art, and, as a result, embraced his ideals.
In 1922, Jonson moved to Santa Fe where he organized over thirty exhibitions of abstract art at the Museum of Fine Arts. An indefatigable promoter of his and other artists' works, he held weekly gatherings at his studio. During his first years in New Mexico, Jonson painted abstracted landscapes in deep hues and created shaped canvases that resonated with the shapes of the land. During his 70 year career as a painter Jonson's work became progressively more non-objective and simplified.
High points of Jonson's career include the co-founding (with Emil Bisttram) of the Transcendental Painting Group (1938-1942) and the founding of the Jonson Gallery in 1950 at the University of New Mexico. Jonson continued his two main activities, painting and promoting the current trends in art, by teaching and exhibiting the work of other artists. After his death in 1982, the Jonson Gallery collection and archives became a branch of the University of New Mexico Art Museum.
Actively seeking works by Raymond Jonson.