Sunset, Maine Coast

John Marin (American, 1870 - 1953)

1919. Oil on canvas, 15 1/2 x 18 1/2". 1931.233

John Marin was among the first American artists to gain general public recognition for his highly personal, abstract style—in part because he was able to capture in his art the core of an experience. Marin expressed elemental energy in the meeting of sky, sea, and land. He trans- formed watercolor painting by bringing Modernism’s bold experimentation to medium. “In life,” Marin wrote, “all things come under the magnetic influence of other things…while these powers are at work pushing, pulling, sideways, downwards, upwards. I can hear the sound of their strife, and there is great music being played.” Marin approached his work instinctively, confronting and capturing those moments when the forces of nature clash.

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