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John Marin | the artist






The artist John Marin
Born Dec 23 1870, Rutherford, New Jersey, USA.
Died Oct 2 1953, Addison, Maine, USA.
Style and technique of the artist: Painting,


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An early modernist artist associated with the Stieglitz circle, John Marin is best known for his watercolors of coastal Maine and urban scenes of New York. Marin made his first trip to Maine in 1914 and, taken by the Maine landscape, purchased a small island off Small Point Harbor, where he camped and painted during the summers of 1914, 1915, and 1917. From 1919 to 1928 he summered at Deer Isle and Stonington on Penobscot Bay. In 1933 he made his first visit to Cape Split, South Addison, where he would buy a house one year later. Cape Split would remain a central subject in his art until his death there in 1953...

During his lifetime, American modernist John Marin was the country’s most celebrated artist. His improvisational approach to color, paint handling, perspective, and movement situated him as a leading figure in modern art and helped influence the Abstract Expressionist movement. This exhibition—the first to present the Art Institute of Chicago’s phenomenal collection of the artist's work in its entirety—ranges from early images rooted in traditional practice to more personal and experimental compositions, showcasing how Marin, in the process of reinventing watercolor, transformed American painting...

After Marin returned to America in 1911, he began receiving an annual stipend from Stieglitz that enabled him to concentrate on his painting. In 1913 he exhibited in the Armory Show, and in the following year he discovered the countryside and coastal areas of Maine, thereafter spending his winters in New Jersey and summers in northeastern rural locations. After Stieglitz closed Gallery 291 in 1917, he used his influence to help Marin. His first retrospective was held in 1920 at Daniel Gallery in New York; in 1925 Stieglitz included him in the exhibition of "Seven Americans" held at the Anderson Gallery, New York; and in December of that year Stieglitz opened his second establishment, the Intimate Gallery, with a retrospective of Marin's work. In early 1926, Duncan Phillips purchased his first works by Marin, and in 1929 he gave the artist his first one-person museum exhibition. After having achieved critical success and recognition over the years, Marin suffered a stroke that claimed his life on October 2, 1953, at Cape Split, Maine, one of his favorite retreats...