The Selected Writings of John Marin

The Selected Writings of John Marin

The Selected Writings of John Marin

The Selected Writings of John Marin

Excerpt

That John Marin should be widely acclaimed as one of America's foremost painters is scarcely surprising. With the publication of this volume it is to be hoped that his writings as well may come into their own. For Marin, happily, is one of those rare painter-poets whose pictures and writings alike are to be treasured; whose paintings -- in the words of Simonides -- might justly be called "silent poetry"; his writing, "speaking painting."

In fact, precisely because he is so fine an artist, both as painter and writer, this book may well serve a double purpose: in addition to being enjoyed for their own sake, Marin's writings should help to provide many an important clue to Marin the painter -- clues that should aid greatly to dispel some of the manifold misconceptions that have been held about his pictures over the years.

That Marin has long been aware of the existence of such misconceptions, both with respect to his own work, and to that of most other creative artists, is evidenced in even his early writings: by 1928 he was already impatient with "the platitudes of those who write upon things about which they sense mighty little. . . ." "The worker," he noted at the time, "is one rather given to observing, thinking and doing. It's not easy for him to talk about and explain his work, but as he and his work have been placed in false position many times, I suppose that he owes it to himself and his world to say something."

In one sense, therefore, publication of this book may even be looked upon as an act of cooperation with the artist; as the offering to him of an opportunity to be heard in his own right -- about his own life and work -- and in as comprehensive a manner as possible.

For -- after all -- who should know better the exact nature of his preoccupations and intent than the artist himself?

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