Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea

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John Marin
American, 1870-1953

Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea, 1947

Oil on canvas
73.7 x 92.1 cm (29 x 36 1/4 in.)
s.l.r. Marin '47
Alfred Stieglitz Collection; Robert A. Waller Fund, 1949.610

© 2016 Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In late compositions such as Movement: Boats and Objects, Blue Gray Sea, John Marin used oil paint as thinly as he did watercolor, the medium for which he is best known. This work likely depicts the Maine coast, where Marin summered and painted throughout his career, exploring how best to express movement and spontaneity in paint. The artist practiced architecture before becoming a painter, and late in life he returned to three-dimensional design, creating painted frames that complement his pictures. Marin had a close relationship with Alfred Stieglitz, who supported him financially and critically from 1910 on and helped him become one of the most successful American Modernists.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, An American Place, "John Marin," December 8, 1947-January 31, 1948, no. 8.

Washington, D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, John Marin in Retrospect, March 3–April 15, 1962, cat. 21; traveled to Manchester, New Hampshire, Currier Gallery of Art, May 9–June 20.

Art Institute of Chicago, "John Marin's Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism," January 23-April 17, 2011; traveled to Atlanta, High Museum, June 26-September 11, 2011.

Publication History

Judith A. Barter et al., "American Modernism at the Art Institute of Chicago, From World War I to 1955," (Art Institute of Chicago/Yale University Press, 2009), cat. 119.
Das Werke 35 (August, 1948), p. 267 (ill.).

MacKinley Helm, John Marin (Boston, 1948), p. 245 as "Movement in Paint" (ill).

New York Times (December 14, 1947), p. 10 (ill.).