Prints from 1972 to 1998
Over the forty-plus years that Brice Marden has been making prints, his imagery and foci have continually morphed. However different the recent prints are from the earlier ones, they do have a good number of similarities. Marden has always been receptive to accident, has always drawn with a combination of nervous and assured line and has respected the flatness of the picture plane while searching for depth either through line or layering. The composition has always been governed by an organizing grid and has remained resolutely abstract while assuming wider connotations beyond art itself. Finally, however restrained or impassive Mardens work has appeared to be it has never been unyielding and has always been expressive of emotions. (Jeremy Lewinson in Brice Marden Prints 1961 – 1991, p. 55)
Marden has always stated that his work is much more of a continuation of Abstract Expressionism than the Minimalist aesthetic of such artists as Donald Judd. When looking at the line work in the etchings on exhibit, it is easy to see this as Marden combines broad slashing bands with filigree threads, stuttering lines with full-blooded puddles, flicks of the wrist with carefully controlled drags, deeply bitten sugar lift with delicate, transparent washes of flat-biting, all of which communicate different levels of energy like the three primary modes of Chinese script – cursive, semi cursive and standard, (Lewinson, p.50). In an interview by the artist Pat Steir, Marden stated, I think the closest I get to any sort of meditative state is when Im drawing Its about joining things up, making relationships, but at the same time letting the drawing itself do the work Ideally, the drawing is working and Im working with it.
Brice Marden (born Bronxville, New York, 1938) lives and works in New York. He had a 200607 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. He has also had solo exhibitions at innumerable museums around the world including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Kunstmuseum in Basel, Instituto Nationale per la Grafica in Rome, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Tate in London.