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George Marinko (American 1908 – 1989)

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Early Spring, 1940, oil on canvas, 24 ½ x 20 ½ inches, signed and dated lower right, titled verso, remnants of paper label verso. Recorded in the George Marinko archives at the Connecticut State Library


About the Painting

Early Spring is a tour de force of American Regionalism. Marinko painted the work in 1940 at the height of his career. In the prior year, Marinko’s surrealist masterpiece, Orpheus in Agony, was a sensation at the American Art Today exhibition at the New York World’s Fair, while Connecticut Vale, a regionalist work similar in composition and approach to Early Spring, won the bronze medal at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco. Marinko’s regionalist paintings from these years compare favorably to the works of many of his better-known contemporaries from the Midwest. Working in the Northeast and painting the Connecticut landscape afforded Marinko the opportunity to use a brighter palette of saturated colors. Markinko’s ability to introduce precisionist elements and dramatic lighting to his tightly composed canvases adds to the appeal of his imagery from this period.

About the Artist

George Marinko was an award-winning regionalist painter and a highly innovative surrealist. He lived and worked in Connecticut. Marinko studied at the Waterbury Art School and the Yale School of Fine Arts. His works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, the Corcoran Gallery and the Carnegie Museum, along with other prestigious institutions. He showed at the New York World’s Fair and the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. Marinko’s paintings are in the permanent collections of over a dozen museums, including the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Yale University Art Gallery. A solo show of his surrealist works was held in 1989 at The John Slade Ely House Center for Contemporary Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Whether working in a regionalist or surrealist style, Marinko’s works from the 1930s and 1940s are characterized by precise drafting, tight composition and a bright, clear palette. Marinko is extensively listed in Who was Who in American Art and all other standard references.


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