John Marin

(1872-1953)

John Marin was one of America's greatest early Modernists. He studied architecture at the Stevens Institute and worked in that field until 1893 to pursue and art career, studying at the ASL and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art with Anshutz and W.M. Chase. While traveling through Europe, Marin met Alfred Stieglitz in 1908, who became his chief promoter and dealer. His first show was held in 1909. While Marin was abroad he focused heavily on etching, retuning to America with 103 works. However, at this point he chose to shift his focus to watercolor, using themes of NYC life in Modernist form and structure to illustrate to dynamics of the city in constant flux. His skyscapes showed a Cubist/Futurist manner with sight lines, contrasting weights and rapid brushwork. Marin's work always sold well with Stieglitz as his dealer and he received quite high prices in the 1920s. Marin was honored with a retrospective at the MoMA in 1936. He was active until his death at age 83.