Wadsworth Atheneum

SWING TIME: REGINALD MARSH AND THIRTIES NEW YORK

The first major assessment of the work of 'American Scene' artist Reginald Marsh (1898-1954) in 30 years, this book focuses on 60 paintings, drawings, and prints, drawn from public and private collections across the U.S. Along with a selection of his photographs and sketches, it sets Marsh's exuberant depictions of urban daily life within the context of the economic uncertainty of 1930s America and the work of fellow artists who shared his interest in the New York scene.
With his fine brushstrokes, busy compositions and bold handling of color, Marsh revealed a passion for contemporary detail, capturing New York City's energy and vibrancy. Incorporating well-known advertising signs, posters, newspaper headlines, and other references to popular culture in his work, he recorded a new urban reality. His interest in the earthiness of everyday life is evident in his depictions of the middle and lower classes, and those on the periphery of mainstream society - Bowery bums, Vaudeville stars, burlesque queens, Coney Island musclemen and lonely subway riders. Fascinated by the city's gaudy colors and the overt sexuality of his subjects, Marsh also expressed a common bond of humanity with those living under severe economic and social hardship, a theme still relevant today.
This striking volume sets Marsh's fascinating work of the 1930s alongside paintings, prints, and photographs of his contemporaries. Together, they tell a complex and highly contrasting visual story of New York City life in this tumultuous time of change. 

Details: Edited by Barbara Haskell
published 2012, 176 pages, hardcover

 

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