September 30, 2005 - January 29, 2006
Marsden Hartley was at the center of the artistic and cultural vortex known today as American modernism. Many recognize Hartley as a leading artist from the period, hailed by TIME magazine critic Robert Hughes as "the most brilliantly gifted of the early generation of American modernists."
A painter, poet, critic, and artistic rebel, Hartley lived from 1877 to 1943. Those years saw momentous, often staggering changes in all spheres of life and culture. In that period two world wars were fought, and Americans moved from rural to urban centers. The many shifts Hartley made in his art reveal his persistent effort to stay abreast of change, to come to terms with the dynamics of his world, and to forge his own contribution to it.
During Hartley's time, to be new meant to be modern-and to be modern meant taking part in the vibrant and vital changes afoot in the world. A core member of the circle of radical artists around photographer and impresario Alfred Stieglitz in New York City, Hartley joined painters Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe, and photographer Paul Strand, in shaking off the historical weight of convention and tradition in the visual arts.
Marsden Hartley: American Modern is a retrospective exhibition culled from the artist's own estate, now in the collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota.