• 6 December 2019
  • 1:00 – 2:00 pm
  • All are welcome! However, places are limited, so please do book a free ticket. A light lunch is provided.
  • Paul Mellon Centre

Throughout the interwar period, Winifred Nicholson and John Marin sought to capture their connection with the maritime environment expressed through the poetic mood of their pictures. Nicholson’s depictions of the sea were often composed in a deceptively simple and flattened faux-naïf manner, evoking the work of The Seven and Five Society’s icon, Alfred Wallis. Marin, on the other hand, tended towards a purer form of abstraction using calligraphic strokes to render the rhythmic movement of the surging sea. Why did both artists frequently turn to this fluid subject by refracting topographical fidelity during the interwar years? This paper will investigate their distinctive transnational definitions of modernity based on an unanticipated dialogue between English and American insular influences. Despite the distance between these foremost modern figures, elements of the ‘unfathomable Ocean' were able to fuel a simultaneous interest, yet the motif continues to be overshadowed by their landscapes and cityscapes.

Image info:

Blue Sea, Small Point, Maine, 1928, MET, 49.70.141

About the speaker

  • Head and shoulders portrait of Samantha Niedergang

    Samantha Niederman is a PhD candidate at the University of York. Her research examines the romantic modernist pictorial language of Frances Hodgkins and Cedric Morris. Before commencing her thesis, Samantha served as curatorial assistant at the Norton Museum of Art, where she contributed research and assisted with the organisation of O’Keeffe, Stettheimer, Torr, Zorach: Women Modernists in New York. She received an MA from University College London, an MLitt from the University of Glasgow and a BA from Boston University. She is the author of Frances Hodgkins, part of the Modern Women Artists series published by Eiderdown Books.