The large, monochromatic works of this time, when painting seemed to be edging into terminal decline as a contemporary art form, were just what painting needed. The pediment of a Grecian temple would amply contain such movement, such an interactive enigma, conveying this from a respectable distance. These works seem to set out new parameters to contain the surge of experimentation following Sixties art. Marden himself addresses his working methods in an interview, and a comprehensive chronology, exhibition history and bibliography close the book out. And in effect, it makes these paintings on paper because the wax acts as a binder and the graphite becomes a pigment. He continued to exhibit regularly in New York throughout the 1990s and was the subject of two major traveling shows. This is timely, and the 56 paintings and over 50 drawings should bring the work of this outstanding painter permanently to the fore.
In the mid-1980s, Marden turned away from Minimalism toward gestural abstraction, traveling to Thailand to learn about calligraphy and the art of the brush stroke. I really wanted The Seasons to be able to stand alone. Studio International 1969; 177: 95. Within these surfaces, Marden reveals the underlying geometries of the rectangle and the grid, a formal strategy that has characterized his work from the 1960s to the present. As with any rippling surface, it is difficult to catch the subtle interaction of marks and lines. When he looked at Manet, this was to mean that he saw again Manet's picture plane as it related to brushwork. In his essay, Paul Galvez traces the tensions — between inside and outside, texture and form, gesture and erasure — that these drawings sustain.
. Now, 'The Muses' was to represent the summit of this process of metamorphosis. In 1966, Marden developed a technique that emphasized this sensitivity, dipping an oil-covered brush into a mixture of melted beeswax and turpentine, and applying it generously to the support, smoothing it with a spatula to eliminate the brushstrokes while retaining the sense of the handmade. After this, Marden was to reinvent the longstanding traditions of painting for the later 20th century, and it was this energetic reassertion of the medium that drew in the support of colleagues and ostensible peers at a time when painting was generally acknowledged by critics and galleries to be at a low ebb. Don't forget the young blonde in La Dolce Vita.
Scenes in country cafe and post orgy on the beach. I think it is Marden's extremely subtle technique, which enables him to suggest a light-held prisoner behind the final impervious surface. The accompanying catalogue is the first book to take readers through the full course of Marden's work as it has developed over more than 40 years from the early 1960s to the present, showing his gradual, deliberate evolution, along with his constant exploration of light, color and surface at every turn. In contrast to his appraisal, say, of the works of Malevich, which long preoccupied him as compared to Stella's reaction, when he literally disavowed the spirituality of Malevich , Marden, by contrast, searches Malevich for that essence. But the artist did not consider it finished, so, after the exhibition, he reworked the series and added more layers of paint while changing the hue.
Throughout the 1970s, Marden's work was showcased at Documenta, in a retrospective at the Solomon R. Marden's paintings have always expressed the quality of paintedness. Up to that point they were independent monochromatic panel paintings. The field itself is a lighter green still. The outstanding early catalogue 1981 from the Whitechapel Gallery by Nicholas Serota with essays by Stephen Bann and Roberta Smith was an exemplary introduction to Marden. Ashton gave Marden a further accolade late that summer, 2 this time commenting on the paintings, as shown then at the Bykert Gallery. Where the drawings are concerned, Marden's first long trip 1986 to the Far East, India and Sri Lanka brought an exciting response from him to the calligraphy based skills he had observed.
Within these surfaces, Marden reveals the underlying geometries of the rectangle and the grid, a formal strategy that has characterized his work from the 1960s to the present. The catalog includes two original essays by art historian Suzanne Hudson, an interview with the artist about this commission and a photo-essay by the artist's daughter, Mirabelle Marden, who documented the process of creating the work. The book includes an extensive catalogue entry for each of the twenty-five featured drawings, detailing its materials, exhibition history, literature, and the circumstances in which it was made. Marden was seeking to reaffirm and to reinvent the long historical tradition of painting. Second, that the paintings and drawings virtually form two separate exhibitions on separate floors.
She is the one Benno calls the 'Purity symbol. What was important for Marden was the opticality and physicality there, also rejected by Stella. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2006. Color is a way of arriving at light. Although the reduced palette and exploration of geometric shapes relate to the Minimalist aesthetic, the gestural quality of the worked surface evokes an Abstract Expressionist approach. Each journal is a unique guide to Marden's artistic output from that period as well as a distinct reference to the city--at that time bustling with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns--where he painted. Marden currently lives in New York City and Hydra, Greece.
Graphite Drawings includes 25 of Brice Marden's seminal early works on paper and accompanies the first exhibition devoted solely to this body of work. Some of his drawings are very light and they, too, are worked over with tremendous care in order that the finest nuances of light are not lost. Within these surfaces, Marden reveals the underlying geometries of the rectangle and the grid, a formal strategy that has characterized his work from the 1960s to the present. Harris Rosenstein, director of the Institute for the Arts at Rice University in Houston at that time, asked Brice Marden and David Novros to create paintings to be installed with four paintings that Rothko did not include in the final Rothko Chapel installation. Earlier, in 1986, he had already fused his drawings with the paintings, a process which had gestated over many years. The Seasons were began in New York in 1974, but completed in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 1975.