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Middle Manhattan Movement (Abstraction, Lower Manhattan)

Not on view

Middle Manhattan Movement (Abstraction, Lower Manhattan)

Artist: John Marin (American, 1870 - 1953)

Date: 1928
Medium: Transparent watercolor with graphite and charcoal on textured watercolor paper
Overall: 26 1/4 x 21 1/2in. (66.7 x 54.6cm)
Signed: recto, lower right (black paint over graphite): Marin 28
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 54.5
Label Text
American painter John Marin lived in Paris between 1908-11, at the very moment Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed the painting style called Cubism. When Marin returned to the United States, he applied this modernist vision of simultaneity to both urban and rural landscapes.

Marin composed Middle Manhattan Movement as a balance betweenrepresentation and abstraction. The upper half of the composition evokes looming office buildings and street lamps, while the alternating light and dark pattern in the lower portion expresses lively action of figures and traffic against store fronts.

Marin celebrated the City’s vibrant street life by creating a rhythmic interplay of forms, in the manner of a jazz composition. There are few fixed lines to stabilize the image; lines keep the eye moving in a circular direction.

Mary E. Murray
Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Presumed copyright: the artist or the artist's representative/heir(s).