Haber writes: "Although [Marsh] learned his bulky forms at the conservative Art Students League, where Kenneth Hayes Miller and Guy Pene de Bois tempered their Modernism with reverence for the past, Marsh alone stuck to egg tempera on composition board and masonite. And he liked it not because of its traditions of gilding and hand-ground pigments, but because it dries fast, so that painting became sketching on the spot... [Marsh] is not a realist like George Bellows, cutting corners when it comes to the facts in favor of a greater drama of place and class. Nor is he even quite an American Surrealist like George Tooker, for whom terror lurks behind every pillar in the subway. He is most definitely not a poet, a chronicler, or a formalist like Berenice Abbott, for whom a subway newsstand becomes a sea of histories and texts."
Smith writes: "By chance 'Legends' coincides with the Museum of Modern Art’s sweeping survey 'Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925,' which traces the development of a largely geometric form of abstraction, mostly by European and Russian artists who often worked in closely related styles. In comparison the Whitney’s display might almost have been subtitled 'Inventing American Modernism, One Sensibility at a Time.' The artists here impress you as talented loners working toward diverse and much messier notions of modernity. To be sure, they take tips from European styles, but they also free themselves from such influences with highly personal responses to the sights and subjects specific to this country — the rawness of its landscapes, the tawdriness of its cities, as well as its folk art, social mores and racism. Sometimes they are working toward abstraction, sometimes not."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.