JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
After a late start in studying art at the age of 29, John Marin set up his studio in Paris where he learned to meld the ideas of post-impressionists and the budding modernism of the early 20th century. Championed and supported by renowned gallerist Alfred Stieglitz and photographer Edward Steichen, Marin returned to the United States, bringing with him the avant-garde European style of painting that he rooted in the natural landscape. A 1948 survey of directors, curators, and art critics voted John Marin as the greatest painter in America.
Marin made annual trips to Maine, inspired by its coast and landscape. In many of his paintings of the coast, Marin captures the stark, ruggedness of the seacoast through brushstrokes that push the painting towards abstraction without fulling giving into non-representation. Within these works, Marin is able to fully realize his idea that “the true artist must perforce go from time to time to the elemental big forms – Sky Sea Mountain Plain."