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Home » Go See – New York: Brice Marden “Letters” at Matthew Marks Gallery through December 23, 2010

Go See – New York: Brice Marden “Letters” at Matthew Marks Gallery through December 23, 2010

November 29th, 2010

Nevisian Triptych
(2007-2008) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery
Currently on view at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York is “Letters” an exhibition of works by American artist Brice Marden. The artist’s first one-person show in New York since his 2006 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, the works on display were inspired by a trip to Taipei just after his MOMA exhibition, where he viewed the Sung dynasty poem by Huang T’ing-chien “Seven-Character Verse” at the National Palace Museum.  The examples he saw of Chinese calligraphy led Marden to create the Letters series.
First Letter (2006-2009) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

More text and images after the jump…



Second Letter (Zen Spring)
(2006-2009) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

The exhibit is comprised of seven large canvases, thirteen works on paper, and also 21 smaller drawings which Marden began while he was in China, making it his largest body of work since his 1991 Cold Mountain series.

Third Letter
(2006-2009) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

A central element to these works are the monochromatic bands of muted color which hold a distinctly calligraphic feel. The bands allow for a complex interchange of color and value in space; they appear to manipulate and distort the creation of forms establishing a sort of dual-figure ground in each work.


White Ground Letter
(2007-2010) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

Abstract expressionist in style and meditative in mood, Marden’s new works have a wide flat gray-green border along the sides meant to evoke the Chinese practice of mounting drawings on larger pieces of fabric for formal presentation. Just next door is a show of Marden’s paintings from the 1960s. Far from the swirling calligraphic nature of his new works, Marden’s 1960s paintings feature reductive style for which he became known.


Red Ground Letter
(2007-2010) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

Brice Marden received his MFA from Yale School of Art and Architecture in 1963. Renowned for his Minimalist work, over the years Marden has frequently employed artistic influences from his many travels around the world even incorporating landscape and the human figure into his abstract work. He has been the subject of one-person shows at the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, Documenta IX, the Serpentine Gallery and the Tate Gallery in London.


Letter About Rocks #3, Blue Ground
(2007-2010) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery


Nevis Rock
(2007-2008) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery


Long Letter 1
(2007-2009) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

Forgery (2007-2008) by Brice Marden, via Matthew Marks Gallery

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Matthew Marks Gallery]
Brice Marden: ‘Letters,’ and ‘Paintings 1961- 1964′ [NY Times]
In New York: Gallery Openings This Week [Artinfo]

-R.A. Proctor

One Response to “Go See – New York: Brice Marden “Letters” at Matthew Marks Gallery through December 23, 2010”

  1. will kennedy Says:

    liked the layout of the paintings with write up included

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