From the catalog:
John Marin (American, 1870-1953)
signed Marin and dated (lower right)
Property being sold to benefit the Mission and Vision of the Couse-Sharp Historic Site, Taos, New Mexico
Provenance: Kennedy Galleries, New York, New York; Sotheby’s, New York, New York, 1990; Private Collection, acquired at auction from the above
Exhibitions: The Berkshire Museum, “John Marin’s Berkshire Landscapes”, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1985
Despite having found a lifelong New York dealer in Alfred Steiglitz, and despite having exhibited with Picasso and just about every other name in Modernism in the 1913 Armory Show, John Marin spent the summer of 1918 in Rowe, Massachusetts, in large part because he found living there inexpensive. Yet the environs were so congenial to his painting that he stayed well into the fall, which is when he would have painted Autumn in Mist--not long perhaps, before Armistice Day began to clear the tragic fog of the First World War. Marin is an idiosyncratic painter. His subtle watercolors seem to have an origin in Asian practice, but they are utterly unique, as if his brushwork inscribes the calligraphy of a private language. The central gesture in Autumn in Mist, for example, is what appears to be the skeleton of a shrub, dimly perceived. The arrangement of green limbs, however, suggests a ghostly, dancing figure that might loom anciently from a cave wall. As Sheldon Reich wrote in his 1970 treatise on Marin, the artist embodied “some of the most cogent artistic tendencies of his day: the twentieth-century concentration on individual expression, the shattering of conventional standards of time and space, the faith in the act of creation as one of affirmation.” (Reich, p. 243).
-James D. Balestrieri