John Marin

Ruth E. Fine, Author National Gallery of Art $75 (312p) ISBN 978-1-55859-015-1
John Marin (1870-1953) brought a transparency and poise to watercolor that were new to American art. The catalogue of an exhibit of his oils, drawings, watercolors and etchings at the National Gallery of Art, this lavish biographical-critical tribute samples the many sides of Marin. There is the restless modernist--member of the circle of artists around photographer Alfred Stieglitz--whose staccato grids of interlocking lines and planes gave new meaning to the Brooklyn Bridge, pulsing city life or a seascape. There is the romantic lyricist, as seen in an exquisite pastel of Venice. There is the nature-worshipper whose celebration of unspoiled Maine almost amounts to an environmental statement. And there was the experimentalist who anticipated abstract trends. Easily dismissed as a painter's painter, Marin recorded flashes of illumination that instill hope and joy. Fine, a curator at the National Gallery, writes with perception of Marin's vision. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
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