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John Marin: The Breakthrough Years – From Paris to The Armory Show    Nov 8, 2013 - Jan 11, 2014

Lower Manhattan
John Marin
Lower Manhattan, 1914
 
Mountain, The Tyrol
John Marin
Mountain, The Tyrol, 1910
 
 
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John Marin: The Breakthrough Years – From Paris to The Armory Show will be on view at Meredith Ward Fine Art from November 8, 2013 through January 11, 2014. The exhibition celebrates Marinʼs participation in The International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known as The Armory Show, which marks its 100th anniversary this year. The 28 watercolors in the show, all produced between 1904 and 1914, offer a front row seat on the first decade of Marinʼs professional career, as he evolved from an accomplished mainstream artist to a leading member of the American avant-garde. “Itʼs difficult for us to imagine how radical these works appeared to audiences back then,” said Meredith Ward, President of the Gallery. “Marin was experimenting with new ideas, working his way out from under the shadow of Whistler, and ultimately found an entirely new way of painting.” Coincidentally, this year is also the 60th anniversary of Marinʼs death in 1953, by which time he had become one of the most successful and well-known artists in America.

Marin arrived in Paris in 1905 at a unique and transitional moment, when works by Cézanne and Matisse were uprooting familiar aesthetics; his paintings of the period show how he responded. His Tyrol watercolors, for example, display vitality, energy, and brightness, and push the limits of form and abstraction to new levels. Marin exhibited three of his Tyrol watercolors in the 1913 Armory Show of which one, Mountain, The Tyrol, 1910, is included in the present exhibition. Other breakthroughs came later, when the full impact of his European experience became apparent. Watercolors done in the Berkshires, the Adirondacks, Castorland, New York, and New York City show his complete mastery of the medium, and that he had internalized modernist ideas and made them his own. With these works, we see Marinʼs signature style emerging – an entirely new and distinct visual language that was perfectly suited to his native landscape. For Marin, the years from 1904 to 1914 were filled with struggle and breakthroughs – breakthroughs that ultimately produced some of the most iconic works of 20th century American art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with an essay by Meredith Ward.

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