Currier unveils latest Marin acquisition

June 19. 2014 1:12AM
Photo courtesy of 2014 Estate of John Marin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y. FEATURED WORK: John Marin created this abstract piece, “Movement in Red,” in 1946. The oil-on-canvas painting has been purchased by the Currier Museum of Art through The Henry Melville Fuller Acquisition Fund. 

The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester has acquired American painter John Marin’s 1946 work “Movement in Red.”

Although the composition is highly abstracted, the sailboats in the lower half of the picture and the gull in the foreground identify the scene as a seascape.

Marin used broad gestures to create the painting’s definitive brushstrokes to suggest the dynamic forces of wind and wave off the coast of Cape Split, Maine.

Swirls of yellow capture the movement of the sun while lines and rectangles in the middle of the painting are Marin’s way of adding structure to a scene that seems otherwise compressed into a single, flat plane.

Marin (1870-1953) made the frame that surrounds the canvas, and decorated it with a motif that suggests an anchor chain.

“Movement in Red” offers a historical launching point for the abstract expressionist movement to follow in the late 1940s and 1950s.

Another recently acquired Marin work, the watercolor “Hondo Valley, New Mexico” (1929), also is on view at the Queen City museum.

Initially grounded in impressionism, Marin’s work became increasingly abstract following the 1913 Armory Show in New York City, which brought European modern art to the United States.

In 1914, Marin turned his attention to landscapes after a visit to coastal Maine. While best known for his watercolors, in the 1940s, he changed his medium of choice to oil.

That use of oils set the stage for emerging abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning.

Marin’s work is in the collections of the New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

For more information about Currier exhibitions, visit or call 669-6144, ext. 108.

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