New York

Marsden Hartley

Vanderwoude Tananbaum Gallery

Now that issues of identity, and the artist’s identity in particular, have again become fresh sociocultural issues—when we are testing art by the sincerity of the artist once more—Marsden Hartley’s paintings, especially those of the last decade of his life, are freshly pertinent. Faced with the same conflict between internationalism and “roots” that confronts artists today, Hartley forged an identity that remained separate from both in the very act of utilizing them. Thus, in Waxenstein at Hammersbach Garmisch, Bavaria, ca. 1933–34, he returns to the German world of his early Modernist work, but without the Modernist style that he had cultivated two decades before. In The Rope and Wishbone, 1936, he deals with Maine, but as an interior rather than an exterior landscape: out of a shroud in the form of a fishing rope (or a rope that unravels into a shroud), he creates a “poetic” self-portrait

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