Woolworth Building no. 31

Painter: John Marin

Year: 1920

Marin famously painted New England landscape scenes and made even the most familiar views abstract. Here, even the city is made abstract; his depiction of the Woolworth building veers dangerously toward total abstraction. The building teeters ominously over us. Marin's roughly handles the surface: he dryly washes pigment and even scratches up of the paper's surface. Marin demonstrates that watercolor can be a modernist medium.