Lot Details

During his lifetime, New Jersey born Modernist, John Marin (1870–1953), was America’s most celebrated artist. His improvisational approach to line, energy and movement embodied America's aspirations in a new age of industry. While early works by Marin closely reflect time spent studying in Europe and the artistic sensibilities of James McNeil Whistler, he is known most for having captured the dynamism and rhythms of the Modern Age by embracing the marvels of urban architecture, the beauty of America’s many-cultured citizens and the triumphs of engineering. Marin’s images from this era are distinctly modernist in their expressiveness. Downtown, The El (1921) gives us a view of the now disassembled elevated train passing in front of the Woolworth Building, New York’s (and the world’s) tallest building from 1913-1930. The etching is among Marin’s earliest and most important Modern images and represents a stylistic link that bridges European tradition and the analytical approach of Cubism with a brand of completely new American Modernism, a movement that would ultimately inspire Abstract Expressionism.

According to Zigrosser, the total edition of the New Republic portfolio exceeded 500, but the quota for Marin prints was divided between this print and another, Brooklyn Bridge and Lower New York, etching, 1913 (Zigrosser 106).

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Catalogue Raisonné: 134, Zigrosser
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  • Pickup Location: Colorado, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 6.8 x 8.75 in. (17.27 x 22.22 cm.)

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