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Maker(s):Marin, John
Culture:American (1870 - 1953)
Title:Lower Manhattan - From Brooklyn Bridge
Date Made:1932
Materials:watercolor over graphite on paper
Place Made:United States; New York; New York
Measurements:sheet: 10 7/8 x 12 1/4 in.; 27.6225 x 31.115 cm
Narrative Inscription:  undated, signed at lower right in pencil: Marin
Accession Number:  SC 2004.35
Credit Line:Bequest of Anna Danzer Tilghman, class of 1943
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art

abstracted city scene, horses at lower right, vertical bridge supports across front, behind them buildings, windows, ladders, green area at left, red sun at upper left corner; city; urban architecture

Label Text:
I see great forces at work; great movements; the large buildings and the small buildings; the warring of the great and the small [�] and so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing. Within the frames there must be a balance, a controlling of these warring, pushing, pulling forces. This is what I am trying to realize. But we are all human.

Artist's statement, Camera Work, 1913

John Marin's early education as an architect and engineer help account for this powerfully framed and architecturally vigorous drawing. Known primarily for seascapes and landscapes, Marin also had an intense fascination with New York City and its frenzied pace, weight, structure, and energy. Here the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge obstruct the view of Manhattan. The brushy, hurried quality to the lines lends the entire composition a sort of frantic movement and emotion, but they also serve to control and frame the intense color and abstraction of the city buildings behind. Marin refused most associations with the European modernist movements, instead referring to nature as his instructor. Indeed Marin, from the outset of his career, was regarded as a painter with "the American vision," and by his death was one of the great champions of American modernism.

nonrepresentational art; exterior; architecture

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