John Marin: The Weehawken Sequence will be on view at Meredith Ward Fine Art from February 3
through March 12, 2011. The exhibition of 32 paintings, most of which have never before been seen, is drawn entirely from the artist’s estate.
It will focus on the series of small oils that Marin produced between about 1910 and 1916, known as The Weehawken Sequence, depicting scenes in and around Weehawken, New Jersey. The works focus on imagery of grain elevators and railroad tracks, the Palisades, and the Hudson River with the New York City skyline beyond. “What’s amazing is that many of these paintings have never been seen before,” said Meredith Ward, President of the Gallery. “They are really ground-breaking works that point to modernist developments later in the century.”
Most astonishing about these paintings is the degree of abstraction Marin was able to achieve at this early date, conveying in quick, gestural strokes the essence of the scene in front of him. In his essay for the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition Klaus Kertess writes, “Few, if any of Marin’s peers gave such gutsy physicality to his or her joy in painting. Few are likely to have had as direct an effect on the epic abstraction created by such as Pollock and de Kooning in the 1950’s. In 1986, while working on an exhibition exclusively devoted to Marin’s oil paintings, I called Elaine de Kooning and asked about her and her husband Willem’s response to Marin’s paintings of the1940s.
‘Marin was the American painter we most admired,’ she responded.” Marin first approached the subject in 1904 when the New York Central Railroad completed construction on a new grain elevator along the shore of the Hudson River. The following year he left for a five-year sojourn in Europe, and upon his return to America in 1910, immersed himself in the Weehawken paintings consistently over the next five or six years. The works explore natural and industrial imagery, their palettes vary from muted tones to vibrant hues, and Marin’s interpretations range from atmospheric
views of the river and sky to gestural expressions of the bustling railroad yards.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue with an essay by independent curator Klaus Kertess.
The opening reception is on February 3 from 5:30-7:30 and we ask that those interested to RSVP via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (212-744-7306).