Imagine moving to a new place every ten months. Imagine having high artistic aspirations and very little money, relying on grants and friends’ help to make ends meet. Imagine having a fluctuating artistic identity, changing style often and repeatedly. Imagine being homosexual and struggling with latent depression and insecurity. This could be a drafted and yet pretty accurate profile of artist Marsden Hartley. Now imagine this, one century ago: when same-sex desire was illegal, extreme forms of nationalism were at their peak and artistic movements followed quite rigid aesthetic systems, often on a country by country basis. That was the era when Marsden Hartley was alive.
Review by Paola Paleari