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John Marin: Modernism at Midcentury

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Portland Museum of Art
Seven Congress Square
Portland, 04101

John Marin sought Maine as a subject—its islands, mountains, beaches, and rocky shores—from 1917 onward. However, when he landed on Cape Split in 1933, he knew this remote and untamed northern locale would imprint his work, foregrounding the abstract properties that had always been a feature of his painting. Featuring 54 works, this exhibition will concentrate on the late period of John Marin’s (1870–1953) career. It will explore the interrelationship between his watercolors, sketchbooks, and oil paintings from 1933 to 1953. Marin sensed the radical potential of painting on Cape Split, transforming the ephemeral patterns of waves in their alternative states of turbulence and calm into innovative compositions, forecasting, as it turns out, some of the primary features and preoccupations of mid-century American art.

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