73
73
John Marin
CAPE SPLIT, MAINE
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT
73
John Marin
CAPE SPLIT, MAINE
Estimate
400,000600,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

John Marin
1872 - 1953
CAPE SPLIT, MAINE
signed Marin and dated 45 (lower right)
oil on canvas
22 1/4 by 28 1/4 inches
(56.5 by 71.8 cm)
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Provenance

Mrs. C. Suydam Cutting, Bernardsville, New Jersey
Downtown Gallery, New York
Mrs. Walter Buhl Ford, II (Josephine F. Ford), Grosse Point Farms, Michigan
By descent to the present owner 

Exhibited

New York, An American Place, John Marin-Paintings-1945, November 1945-January 1946
Newark, New Jersey, Newark Museum, From the Collection of Mrs. C. Suydam Cutting, February-April 1954
Washington, D.C., National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, American Landscapes-A Changing Frontier, April-June 1966

Literature

Sheldon Reich, John Marin: Catalogue Raisonné, Tucson, Arizona, 1970, vol. II, no. 45.7, p. 737, illustrated

Catalogue Note

In a poll of curators and art critics conducted by Look magazine in 1948, both groups recognized John Marin as the most accomplished American artist of the time. Closely associated with the avant-garde photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, who held annual exhibitions of the artist’s work between 1909 and 1950, Marin explicitly sought to explore national themes in his work, intent on establishing a distinctly American style. Painted in 1945, Cape Split, Maine is representative of Marin’s later work in oil, with the expressiveness of the medium sharing equal weight with the subject matter.

Early in his career Marin worked almost exclusively in watercolor; oil paintings did not become a substantial part of his oeuvre until 1913. His work focused on semi-abstract landscapes and cityscapes that were executed both as spontaneous plein air pieces and more carefully structured studio compositions. Marin first visited Maine in 1914 and was taken with the rocky shoreline and powerful sea. The rugged Maine coast was an ideal subject for the artist’s gestural expression in oil, and the ever changing ocean and coastal landscape provided him with continual inspiration. According to Klaus Kertess, “in 1933, Marin rented the house on Cape Split in Addison, Maine, that he would buy the following year and paint in, during the warmer months, for the rest of his life. Here his new power in oil reached its apogee” (Marin in Oil, Southampton, New York, 1987, pp. 46-47).

Marin eschewed the idea of pure abstraction being pursued by the Abstract Expressionists, preferring to maintain a basis in realism. By the mid-1940s however, Marin began to see the medium itself as a form of subject matter: “’…in these new paintings, although I use objects, I am representing paint first of all and not the motif primarily,’ he wrote in 1946. But” as Mr. Kertess recognized, “Marin stopped short of abstraction, which he continued to consider self-indulgent; he was as critical of Mondrian as he was of the new abstraction taking hold in New York. Not only did ‘motif’ remain important to him, but also the boundaries of the canvas” (Ibid., p. 55).

American Art

|
New York