Becoming John Marin: Modernist at Work

Feb 26, 2019 - May 26, 2019
Voorhees Galleries

Drawing was an essential, ever-present practice in the long and prolific career of John Marin (American, 1870–1951), one of the major figures of American modernism as it developed during the first half of the twentieth century.  Uniquely among the movement’s pioneers, who include the painters Marsden Hartley and Arthur Dove and the photographer Paul Strand, Marin established and sustained his career primarily with his oeuvre of drawings and watercolors depicting landscape subjects. For most of his life, John Marin divided his time between his Cliffside Park, New Jersey, home and summer visits to Maine, and his most frequent subject matter featured views of those regions’ natural and built environments. This exhibition surveys Marin’s remarkable commitment, energy, and invention as a draftsman, ranging from early works made as he contemplated an artistic career to sheets made during his final years as he continued to experiment with line, color, and form in order to see familiar subjects with new eyes. Selected from nearly 300 works now at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, the works on view provide a unique opportunity to observe John Marin’s facility and technical daring as a draftsman as they developed and matured over his remarkable career.

Becoming John Marin: Modernist at Work is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center. Generous support for the exhibition and publication was provided by: The Henry Luce Foundation, Luce Fund in American Art; the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The Zimmerli’s presentation of Becoming John Marin is funded in part by The Class of 1958 in honor of their 60th Reunion, PNC Bank, and donors to the Zimmerli’s Major Exhibition Fund: James and Kathrin Bergin, Alvin and Joyce Glasgold, Sundaa and Randy Jones, Charles and Caryl Sills, and the Voorhees Family Endowment. 

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine)

Manhattan Skyline from the River, 1909-1912

Watercolor over graphite on textured watercolor paper

11 ½ x 12 ¾ in.

Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Norma B. Marin

© 2018  Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York