John Marin in New Mexico
May 16 - August 22, 1999
John Marin is considered the greatest American watercolor artist of the twentieth century. He is well-known for his landscapes of Maine and New York City, but his focus changed dramatically when he discovered the mountains and deserts of the Southwest. Left: The Big Tree, NM, 1929, 21 x 15 inches, individual collector, photo by Melville McLean
Marin arrived in New Mexico in 1929. He spent two summers at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house in Taos, where famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe encouraged him to capture on paper the parched, rugged landscape of New Mexico. Marin took her advice and completed approximately 70 watercolors during his 7-month stay in the Land of Enchantment. His New Mexico landscapes show the distinctive browns and greens of the region, the sense of intense heat on the dry earth and incredible blue skies. Marin said the sheer scale of the New Mexico landscape impressed and sometimes intimidated him.
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