Reginald Marsh images and biography
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Reginald Marsh

See also: American Art


"Reginald Marsh's paintings and drawings combine an almost baroque drawing style with a newspaper reporter's attention to the minutiae of urban public life. Filled with facts, his art is unabashedly topical, often based on his own photographs and numerous on-site sketches. Marsh's headlines, signs, and advertisements are specific and legible while his faces and figures are often indistinguishable.

"Twenty Cent Movie, as arresting as a boldface tabloid, presents a riot of information and evokes a golden era of cinematic hyperbole and Runyonesque characters. The double bill of Twenty Cent Movie improbably joins We Live Again (right), an adaptation of Tolstoy's tragic novel Resurrection, with an upbeat musical comedy entitled Moonlight and Pretzels (left). The blown-up poster portraits represent the dashing Frederic March and sultry Anna Sten of We Live Again, and the mustachioed character actor Leo Carillo, whose comic mispronunciations punctuated Moonlight and Pretzels. The scene before Forty-second Street's Lyric Theatre looks itself like a movie still, with stars, bit-players, and extras poised for action. The stylish blond ingenue in white strolls before the streetwise, cocked-hatted boulevardier, as a flashily dressed, man-about-town looks on: this trio of potential stars in search of a plot are everyday echoes of the three blown-up images of the actors.

"With superficial appearances more strongly emphasized than substance, Marsh's figures rarely reveal their private selves. A tragic lack of connection between the sexes exists in much of his art. In Twenty Cent Movie, the men are seldom attached to the curvaceous, parading females. Never probing human relations, Marsh vividly catalogued an era, with all the detail and celebration that his contemporary Edward Hopper left out."

- From "Whitney Museum of American Art: Selected Works from the Permanent Collection", by Patterson Sims

Further reading on Reginald Marsh

Reginald Marsh Images

1930 Why Not Use the "L"?
1932 Hudson Bay Fur Company
1935 Hauptmann Must Die
1936 Coney Island
1936 Twenty Cent Movie
c. 1936 Monday Night at the Metropolitan

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