Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark
September 19, 2019 to January 19, 2020
Hailed as "America’s first great modern painter of the 20th century"
and "one of the most intriguing art historical subjects of all
time", Marsden Hartley remains relatively unknown to a European
audience. This fall, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art,
in Humlebaek, Denmark, presents the first major retrospective
exhibition of his work in Europe in over 60 years, on view
from September 19, 2019 to January 19, 2020.
The work of the American painter and poet Marsden Hartley
(1877-1943) can be regarded as a bridge between European and American
modernism. Hartley lived much of his life nomadically between Europe and
the USA, and his travels produced a number of profoundly original
groups of works from 1906 until 1943. Among these we can count a series
of abstract paintings created with a point of departure in military
symbols from the horrors of the First World War; desolate, almost
surreal landscapes from New Mexico; feminized figure paintings of
muscular working men.
Before World War I Marsden Hartley participated in Gertrude Stein’s famous salons in Paris and visited Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter
in Munich, and Franz Marc invited him to show his mysterious pictures
at the famous exhibition Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon in Berlin in 1913
alongside the other members of Der Blaue Reiter.
In his home country too Marsden Hartley mixed with the artistic
elite. In New York he was a member of the circle of the famous
photographer and forward-looking gallerist Alfred Stieglitz,
who helped him financially on all his travels and spread knowledge of
him. Despite his central position on the art scene of the time, Hartley
has remained a neglected name in the USA and an unknown figure in
Europe, perhaps because of the many-faceted character of his oeuvre,
which has made it difficult to place him in the history of art.
Louisiana’s Marsden Hartley Retrospective is one of the largest
presentations of the artist’s work to date and the first major
exhibition of his work in Europe since 1960. Presenting more than 110
paintings, the show will emphasise the artist’s dual role as both a
painter and poet.