Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyA beautifully illustrated, full-scale reappraisal of American painter Marsden Hartley (1877-1943), this rewarding biographical-critical study links his greatness, his mysticism and his private agony as a homosexual and an outsider. Born in Maine, Hartley retreated into his imagination after his mother died when he was eight and he relocated to Cleveland with his father and stepmother. Moving to Paris in 1912, he found his personal style in Berlin (1913-1915), blending autobiographical elements, cubist abstraction and personal symbolism. The death of a male friend, a German officer killed in battle in WWI, led Hartley to invest military iconography with erotic power. Returning to the U.S. in 1916, he reinvented himself through folk-art paintings on glass and revisionings of New Mexico's landscapes and Native American culture, a series he continued even after resettling in Berlin in 1921. Restless, plagued by poor sales, Hartley lived in Mexico, Hamburg, Nova Scotia, coming home to Maine in 1937, where he did strong figurative pictures, at once Christian and pagan, culminating in the mystical Mount Katahdin series. UC Santa Barbara art historian Robertson portrays a ``savagely direct'' painter who holds up a mirror to mainstream society. (June)
This book features 102 illustrations, including 52 plates in full color of Marsden Hartley's work.
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