John Marin (1870-1953)
Region of Brooklyn Bridge Fantasy
Watercolor, colored pencil, and graphite pencil on paper
Sheet: 22 × 28 1/4 in. (55.9 × 71.8 cm) Image: 17 × 22 1/8 in. (43.2 × 56.2 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
Like many young artists in the early decades of the twentieth century, John Marin was inspired by the dynamism and vitality of New York City. "The whole city is alive," he exclaimed, "buildings, people, all are alive, and the more they move me the more I feel them to be alive." Watercolor was Marin's medium of choice because it was ideally suited for recording the spontaneity and frenetic energy he felt. Marin viewed New York as a balance of “warring, pushing, pulling forces,” and in this watercolor he portrays the landscape of Lower Manhattan, with its skyline of tall buildings and the Brooklyn Bridge. The architectural structures are presented through a dense arrangement of overlapping forms punctuated with windows; a composition clearly indebted to Cubism.