Marin in New Mexico

a new frontier
February 29, 2020
John Marin, Dance of the Pueblo Indians, 1929
John Marin, Dance of the Pueblo Indians, 1929

Marin spent only two seasons in Taos, New Mexico, staying on land owned by Mabel Dodge Luhan in 1929 and 1930, but the time he spent there was tremendously important. The landscape itself played to his sensitivities to geometric abstraction. The vastness of the prairie and the looming mountains clearly attracted and challenged him in much the same way as the Maine landscape and sea had. A critic glowingly reported that “[The New Mexico watercolors] range in mood and manner from the tenderly lyric to the overwhelmingly torrential. Marin says they are the last watercolors he is going to do” (Ruth E. Fine, John Marin, Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, and New York: Abbeville Press, 1990), p. 225). Of course this turned out not to be the case—Marin continued to produce watercolors, in volume, for the rest of his life. Perhaps the critic was mistaken, but it is just as plausible that the painter believed in 1930 that he had in New Mexico made his final statement in the medium.




On view at the Park Avenue Armory during the ADAA Art Show through March 1, and at 22 E80th Street through April 24th, 2020. The gallery is open to the public 9:30 to 5:30, Monday through Friday, and by appointment, at 22 East 80th Street, New York, NY, 10075. Visit or email, or call (212) 879-8815 for more information.