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Alma-Tadema and Victorian Painting
in the Pérez-Simón Collection

From 25 June to 12 October 2014 (extended closing date)

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
The Roses of Heliogabalus (detail)
Oil on canvas
132.7 x 214.4 cm

Pérez-Simón Collection, Mexico

Carmen in Spanish collections

From 7 October until 9 November 2014

Special Collaborative Exhibition. Free entry

Pablo Picasso
Femme de profil à l’éventail, 1964, illustrations for the book Le Carmen des Carmen by Prosper Mérimée and Louis Aragon
Fundación Bancaja Collection
© Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2014

Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

John Marin
Lower Manhattan
Watercolor on paper
67.5 x 54.5 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 661 (1977.82)

More information about this work

The influence of Cubist decomposition can be clearly appreciated in Lower Manhattan, a watercolour dated 1923 and, like many other of Marin’s works, devoted to New York city. Marin shows a view of the lower part of the city and attempts to transmit its energy and chaos. The ever growing metropolis began to be a source of inspiration for painters, photographers and writers like Walt Whitman, whose poetic vision of New York as a confluence of energies greatly influenced the early American avant-gardists.

The artist combines Cubist fragmentation with the Italian Futurists’ views of the seething metropolis, aided by the watercolour medium that enables him to translate his impressions rapidly. Marin published an explanatory note in the catalogue of his exhibition held at the 291 gallery in 1913, admitting that, like the Italian Futurists, he was interested in depicting not what could be seen in the city but its inner forces: “I see great forces at work; great movements; the large buildings and the small buildings; the warring of the great and small; influences of one mass on another greater or smaller mass. Feelings are aroused which gives me the desire to express the reaction of these ‘pull forces.’”He went on to explain that “while these powers are at work pushing, pulling, sideways, downwards, upwards, I can hear the sound of their strife and there is great music being played. And so I try to express graphically what a great city is doing.”

Paloma Alarcó

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