This work reveals the last major breakthrough in Macdonald’s painting career. In 1956 he began working with industrial paint. By 1957, using both acrylics and oils, Macdonald was able to achieve the fluidity and freedom of his smaller scale watercolours in magnificently powerful and moving works.
Continuing to explore negative and positive space and spatial ambiguity through colour and abstract imagery, Macdonald moves from the organic references he often used in his non-objective paintings to a more monumental concept of the cosmos. Large and majestic, Legend of the Orient reflects Macdonald’s confidence in the work he was producing and his belief in its uniqueness.