Practicing for more than half a century, American printmaker and painter Brice Marden is known for his relatively minimalist explorations of colour and line through calm monochromes and busy calligraphic abstractions.Read More
Born in Bronxville, New York, in 1938, Marden received his BFA from Boston University in 1961, followed by an MFA from Yale University School of Art and Architecture in 1963.
Contributing to the emerging aesthetic of Minimalism, Marden made his first monochromatic paintings in 1964. In these early paintings, the artist created a textured surface by mixing wax and turpentine into oil paint to create a dense surface that both absorbs and reflects light. Encapsulating this early style, Marden's The Dylan Painting (1966), dedicated to the then rising star Bob Dylan, was a monochrome field of greyish purple comprised of multiple layers of oil paint and beeswax.
From 1975, when he began visiting Greece on an annual basis, Marden took inspiration from the colour and lights of its landscapes and made reference to Greek mythology in his titles.
Works like Brice Marden's 'Cold Mountain Studies' (1988–1991) demonstrate the style of his works from the mid-1980s onwards, influenced by the aesthetic conception of Chinese calligraphy. Featuring meandering, tangled lines, these later works are visually different to his previous monochromatic works, though they continued to express his concern for surface, touch, and tone—hallmarks of Brice Marden's art.
Marden currently lives and works between Hydra, Greece, in New York City.
Brice Marden artworks have been exhibited internationally, including retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Solo exhibitions including Think of Them as Spaces: Brice Marden's Drawings, Menil Drawing Institute, Houston (2020); It reminds me of something, and I don't know what it is, Gagosian, New York (2019), and Brice Marden: New Paintings, Matthew Marks Gallery, Los Angeles (2016) have seen Marden continuing to present new works.
America Will Be! Surveying the Contemporary Landscape, Dallas Museum of Art (2019); The Beginning of Everything: Drawings from the Janie C. Lee, Louisa Stude Sarofim, and David Whitney Collections, The Menil Collection, Houston (2017); Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, Metropolitan Museum of Art at the Met Breuer, New York (2016).
Ocula | 2019
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I felt some wistfulness, myself, leaving the unfinished works that afternoon, knowing that another two or three coatings of paint would render them effectively unrecognisable. [Marden] acknowledged
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