The Jonson Gallery presents a select group of watercolors and oils painted by Raymond Jonson between 1942, after the dissolution of the Transcendental Painting Group, and 1948, when he conceived the idea of the Jonson Gallery on the UNM campus.
Thus the 1940s span and connect two significant events in Jonson's life by a series of works that are more than a singular resolve to continue the group. Rather, the Transcendental ideals of order and harmony conveyed through intense color, rhythm, and harmonious relationships, Jonson believed, could have a profound effect in the world, particularly a world then engaged in war. As Jonson wrote,
Right now we need works done that present a high state of order. They will not be seen by many but that does not matter for the act of doing releases that power, that sincerity and feeling that must have [their] effect. I realize this places a new aspect and function on the creative arts. I intend to it.
With the war's end in 1945, Jonson only increased his efforts by gathering the positive energy of his painting into one place. The Jonson Gallery was, of course, to be the resting place of the artist's substantial legacy. But even more, it was to be the locus of his intentions, the culmination and vital symbol of the artist's intentions.
(Images: Raymond Jonson, Watercolor No.28, 1944 & Watercolor No.23, 1944; Courtesy Jonson Gallery)