New Mexico Art Tells its History

Back of Ranchos Church

Back of Ranchos Church, 1930
John Marin American, 1870 - 1953
watercolor on paper 15 x 20 1/2 in. (38.1 x 52.1 cm)
Bequest of Helen Miller Jones, 1986

John Marin was a very important, influential modernist painter. He lived in the northeast and visited New Mexico in the summers of 1929-30. His favorite place to paint was the rocky coast of Maine. Marin’s paintings are characterized by rhythmic lines, flat planes of color, and empty spaces or borders that flatten the picture plane. He worked mainly in watercolor, and his energetic, fragmented compositions had a big influence on New Mexican artists like Andrew Dasburg, as well as the more radical abstract expressionists, like Jackson Pollock, who came after.

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