I kept trying to remember the precise wording of something I’d read by Marsden Hartley, as I walked through The Met Breuer, savoring “Marsden Hartley’s Maine.”1 I recalled that the essay was titled “Art and the Personal Life,” and I thought it included something about Hartley’s calling himself an “intellectual experimentalist.” Back home, I looked through my copy of the artist’s collected writings and found the passage that had been haunting me: “I can hardly bear the sound of the words ‘expressionism,’ ‘emotionalism,’ ‘personality,’ and such, because they imply the wish to express personal life, and I prefer to have no personal life,” Hartley wrote...


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