JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
3 More
Modern American Masterworks from the Ted Shen Collection
JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)

River Movement, Lower Manhattan

JOHN MARIN (1870-1953)
River Movement, Lower Manhattan
signed and dated 'Marin/23' (lower left)
watercolor on paper
19 x 23 1/2 in. (48.3 x 59.7 cm.)
Executed in 1923.
Mr. and Mrs. John C. Marin, Jr., New York.
Kennedy Galleries, Inc., New York.
Arthur and Holly Magill, acquired from the above, 1981.
Sotheby's, New York, 30 November 2000, lot 55, sold by the above.
Meredith Ward Fine Art, New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2005.
S. Reich, John Marin: A Stylistic Analysis and Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, Tucson, Arizona, 1970, pp. 152, 154, 526, no. 23.55, fig. 122, illustrated.
New York, Kennedy Galleries, Inc., John Marin’s New York, October 13-November 6, 1981, n.p., no. 18, illustrated.
New York, Richard York Gallery, Movement: Marin, November 9, 2001-January 12, 2002, pp. 34, 50, 56, no. 26, illustrated.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

As emphasized in the title of the present work, River Movement, Lower Manhattan, John Marin saw New York as a living entity and sought to convey this dynamism in his iconic cityscapes. As the artist himself explained, “We have been told somewhere that a work of art is a thing alive. You cannot create a work of art unless the things you behold respond to something within you. Therefore if these buildings move me they too must have life. Thus the whole city is alive—and the more they move me the more I feel them to be alive." (as quoted in John Marin by John Marin, New York, 1970, p. 105)

River Movement, Lower Manhattan visualizes this philosophy, as the buildings of New York City interlock into a densely packed mass of line and color, towards which the boats on the river direct their course. Echoing the larger shapes of the buildings, Marin continues his geometric patterning of the skyline with smaller blocks of windows, even as he adds a sense of whimsy with star-shaped outlines in the sky above. His bold, gestural brushwork combines with an intense palette of pink, red, green and blue, which is blended and layered, further conveying the hustle and bustle of the city environment.

More from Modern American Masterworks from the Ted Shen Collection

View All
View All