Brice Marden @MoMa
Roberta Smith said his work was "expensive"How much does a Brice Marden cost?
Starting at around 900K I think.
i really enjoy his timeless work.if you really want to get a feel for prices go to sotherbysauctions>auction results> then click on the one u are into this will bring you to a page to register from there you can get a pretty good idea of the current market. pop goes the Artworld
This is beautiful! It's got simplicity and complexity at the same time which I always find appealing. I feel like I could look at it for a long time without getting bored - and keep discovering thngs.
I was lucky enough to get to go to the opening last night. I never really thought about his paintings but I must say I really liked this show. The first few rooms contained his very early work from the 60s. I did not know it at all but thought it was very good, very minimal but very good. The last room consisted of 4 of his most recent paintings and for my money (no where close to 900k by the way) these were the best paintings of the show. Real stunners!
Heres an x-ray of the painting:hereClearly it says santan or satay, and below that it looks like Pollock.Weird.This painting makes me want to swim in aruba.
Notice it was written below the middle, indicating the farthest reach of one of satans shorter minions.
i thought i felt a draft. the new work looks much stronger than its ever been. recent posts ever other two or three have been very established artists. anyone have an idea why the change as of yet? good to see them though. the saul was a delight although the words threw me off.
zip your full of laughs
hard boiledWhiplash man, whiplash.
This is a must see show. The Muses, pictured, is a stunning Zen masterpiece. The work has to be seen to truly appreciate all the scrapping, smudging, painting and over painting.
hellraiser is a great movie.THe cosmology supports a whole franchise - Hellraiser II for example - dude plugs into hell and takes controll of the opperation from the cenobytes, who amount to Jewish capos in auschwitz, if thats your point of reference. Stamford prison experiement if you are more into a science type modality thing.Hellraiser has influenced no end of horror movies since - the genre is full of that kind of discursive nod stuff.The whole movie makes me rethink my anti stance on fur wearing, if that makes any sense.Timeless.
One of the great things about hellraiser also is the effects - they draw directly on the emulsion, glowing scratches. Sort of like caustic light patterns. Not exactly zen, but pretty good if you loop it. Like a screen saver for those of you who are wired. You all are, too.
I'd dig that loop. Zip why not go for it and bump Cory Archangel's new media throne
DO you think so? I dunno, corey is the king of all media near as I can tell.THe buzz around bryce is pretty good at least two interview. I read one where he said hes "old fashioned". I think thats ultimately his schtick at this point - as an upholder of these old (eternal?)mystic truths.Not really my values I guess, but I do like them. I like them a lot more when Im sitting poolside with a Gin and tonic and some italian cold cuts. though. Brings me looping back to the Jaquard loom and programming - whether its Ted Kazinski style or just punching a time clock.Corey is more about fun. I dunno. A sprite jet plane "jammed" (glitched) in a climb? IS that art or just an interesting image? How smart is it? If its a visual pun game then FUCK ME, Im in. Techno folk?I dont get this historical bridge-narrative-funnel life/death vortex thing With Marden or COrey. Im trying to pin it down, but its not really my culture. I didnt grow up with fine art nor sit-coms really.for example but I did have video games after about sixth grade (temple of apshai on a teachers TRS-80) And then my friends got atari and stuff. My parents sprung for a commodore 64 when they came out. We had the big "floppy" disks.But there are people that can go back to punch cards, which is the most rigourous serialism there is. Programming by hand. Forgive my loop but Jaquards loom. Charles Dickens. Automation. Metropolis. Thats entertainment. "DO not fold spindle or mutilate". TO quote someone.I knew a lady at work that would tally her time card at lunch. Because they round down your minutes if its under 15 minutes or whatever.She was what you call a realist. Doing the time.I dont think corey is doing the computer as mind fuck, neo marxist action, or at least not very well. Maybe hes more of a zen dude as well. A humanist. Getting stoned and playing x-box with your friends is the best art. WHy feel bad when you can feel so good?But corey is doing the good work - bringing that tech narrative to the art world audience (a weird phenomena in itself, having something to do with a generation gap) - which reacted badly to net art (the .com bubble) and all its money and razzle dazzle but none of the luxury and romance of a madame bovary novel or whatever. Well I like william gibson and neil stephenson in an adolescent way, but Im past that and looking more in a Ted Kazinski, burning chrome kind of way.What movie quotes the line "dont think, feel"Dont think, feel; aint no big deal.Just make it real and dont think, feel.It dont take plans to clap your hands,When it feels nice just dont think twice.
all I know is that Mike Shinoda did that Slash loop on an album like a year and a half ago which makes Cory's avant garde quotient drop even lower
I dont know nothing about Mike Shinoda but thats the problem."Cory applied American avant-garde composer Steven Reich's concept of phasing to the guitar intro of Guns and Roses' track Sweet Child O'Mine. Rather than use instruments, Cory took the same two clips from the song's music video and shortened one clip by a single note. As the videos loop, the two intros grow farther apart until they are back in sync."Like "phasing" is some AWESOME concept like "god" or "donuts".Anyone who looks at mooovies frame by frame gets phasing. Otherwise you WOULDNT GET IT and NOT UNDERSTAND and then NOT GO TO THE MOVIES. i.e. "special". I showed a dude how to fold a dollar so it smiles - not as art but as an interesting phenomena (I learned it from a book in 3rd grade or so).But that person used my "interesting phenomena"(not my site) and made it gallery art. Was he fucking shitting me? I wanted to take his sensitive little sculpture and John Belushi it. Or not. But the idea of someone crediting that idea wrongly got my badge burning. Indeed. Thats a lot of tech art. Pluss no metaphor or "meaning" other than some didacticism.I call bullshit on recontextualization - unless by that you mean hypnotism or charisma, or storytelling. Or lying. I dont buy Corey's whole DIY house and home guide to Haxor schtick, but I like the idea of free information and ideas, which he champions, I guess, as part of the culture he embodies, i guess.
"Samuel Spade's jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting V under the more flexible V of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another smaller V. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The V motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down - from high flat temples - in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan." Art is the lie that that tells the truth-James Bond
Somewhere between a Pier One pillow cover and 900K lies the truth. I can't help it I've always liked him more than I want to in theory especially the early more monochromatic paintings which I think must have been kind of decadent at the time for their beauty.
Is it about the space? Pretty space. Pretty! C. Finch thinks marden "fell in love with the honeycomb" and is ok with furs and Film Noire, apparently.
I like his work though. I can't help it. I like things that are rotten and disrespectful and decadent, sensual beauty actually is.
I'm interested in generating repeating patterns for silkscreening. I know that you can make seamless tiles with Photoshop but I haven't figured out all its possibilities and limitations. Ideally I would be able to vary the scale, rotation, drop, etc. of the motif. I'm not as familiar with Illustrator so I have very little idea what its capabilities are for repeating motifs.I also know that there are Photoshop and Illustrator plugins out there, but don't know if they're worth it. Anyone here ever used any of these? Or know of other plugins I should look into?
I hear vasarley is doing well, having anticipated adobe photoshop.
"... the early more monochromatic paintings which I think must have been kind of decadent at the time for their beauty." Not quite, it was the time of Pop Art, Stella, Noland etc were all making bright colorful paintings. Mardens early work came across as more severe and understated.
I don't know why george I just have the opposite reaction to them although I think his work is beautiful in a monastic restrictive way.Early Pop Art was dark and abrasive ( which I also respond to). The whole watered down celebrity icon genre we were talking about in an earlier thread is the second generation version.
Ok here's a quote:Marden: Rothko was the shining light in terms of everything I’m thinking. He was the one who showed that you could be that way, just make beautiful paintings.
Kelli,It was a mix. Early Pop, Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol, Hamilton came out of AE which had a dark side to it as well. The 60's was an extraordinary era, the culture was going through a radical change, and all of it was happening under the cloud of the Vietnam war. For awhile it was an "up" period, Woodstock and all that, and the attitude in the artistic community more or less reflected this, a kind of optimism for the future. I think much of the work being made then had more of an "in your face" than an ironic attitude. About the time of the ill fated Altamont concert (1969?) the feelings of optimism began to change. By then Pop, minimalism and Greenbergs post-painterly abstraction had fairly well run its course. I always felt that Marden's work grew out of AE but obliquely to the Greenbergian slant, influenced more by the minimalists but with a more sensuous sensibility. At the time, I was a young artist, just starting art school. The art scene was somewhat like it is now viewed by a young artist in the same position. One more or less knew everything that was going on, so I have a memory of the period which is different than one gets looking back historically. The whole 60’s scene wasn’t just the ten artists in the books, wrapped up in the latest theories. There was a lot of artists working in the same vein (nothing more boring than bad minimal art), just like there is now. In that context, Marden’s paintings were seen as sensual but as you say monastic.
One more thing. The opening line of Krauss’ review "The Man Who Persevered When Painting Was Stalled" is to the point. During the period between 1972-80, conceptual art held sway and painting was in the doldrums, artists were picking over the dead carcass. I had a studio visit with Marden on my first trip to NYC, around 1978. It was one of the pivotal moments in my career, here was this guy who was seriously making paintings, he made the whole enterprise still seem possible.
or, one could say that what followedaltemont was a desire to re-live a morehalcyon existence and imaginativelylive apart from the cold war. Country music, disco, andfinally new wave -- and the ascensionof painting once again, during one of the biggesteconomic bubbles in our history, happenedat the apex of the cold war. We wished for nothing more than the hopethat we could still produce significations of comfort andluxury amid the complex of threat, guilt and denial.Partyed, like it's 1999.Not committed to that thought, but it's a thought.
"...during one of the biggest economic bubbles in our history..."That was just the start of it, wait 'til you see what comes next.going to bed.
Right, hardly about nimble quips! I enjoyed zips x-ray--like it is so similar to signing in as anonymous. I always type in the curlicue, frightened off by the numbers and letters. So never get to post! Actually what I see in this image is some solution to a problem never resolved by the futurists, and that little doggie. I like how naturally the curls form this brim at the top of the canvas, as if there is only one way to go, and it's up, however down it goes into the canvas.Tell me where I can find a pillow slip (a case as good as this), the same, and I''ll be imbued, beat ya to the wholesale over here. ALSO:Can someone put this under meta-data, to see what comes up?George, what's coming up in the fiscal world? I know new gestural painting, reconfigured, is the next season's lust.
You look at this painting and compare it with the last one( Anton Henning)and its all there. Brice Marden's work is the real deal. Henning's is an "art joke".Trying to hard to be funny and ironic in a art historical way and just not making it. This seems to be a theme in what Feuer shows. Maybe it's the School of the Museum Fine Arts Boston background, there are quite few artist from this school in the gallery, not sure.Anyway Marden's work is in a different class than anything Feuer shows. Maybe its not fair to compair a master to a gallery in which some(a fair amount in my opinion) of the artist are just not very good.And let me emphisize the word some.But they are young, mind you, you look a Marden's work from when he was in his late 20's early 30's and he is miles better than any artist in Feuer's gallery.
here's alink to some interesting shots of his studio, check out the long brushes, like Whislter's.http://www.paulwhkan.com/plog/nyc2003/nyc031216marden/index.html
yes pd, I agree about Anton. Part of the problem of that gallery is the space, too confined. And thanks for the studio pics.BB, I didn't have the same reaction to the last room of Marden's show. My first impression is that these pictures were trying to be popular, but I could be all wrong about that. I'm going back today and will sit with them. Of the 3 Rouaults at the Vollard show, the one on the right is the winner.
For a topic to pick over, with people mentioning the sixties and all, I've always been intrigued by the fact that (from the gaze of my depleted viewpoint) so much art of the 60s seemed so antagonistic to the cultural movements people are mentioning. I see the connection with happenings and what have you, but in terms of painting a la stella , marden, color field, and sculpture a la minimalism, it seems so austere and cerebral. I guess the cultural timeline and the painting timeline didnt mesh..or was everybody still beats? I dont mean this in an irreverent way but since its been so trendy for a number of years to make neo-hippie art I was pondering the question. (and yeah the Smithson show at the Whitney was totally stoned and trippy so I guess earth art stood in). sorry for being unthought out and ill-informed.Kjames you provide a lot of background information, care to speak?
the times headline is more than a little misleading, almost deliberately so. it perpetuates a common myth, most specifically the idea that marden was painting at a time when the practice had been declared 'dead'. the headline, and the article itself, makes a familiar rhetorical point, but it's also a specious idea and is historically inaccurate. for those that are interested, please see the new catalog 'high times, hard times: new york painting 1967-1975'. it accompanies an exhibition that will travel to new york sometime next year. marden himself either admired many of these painters (james bishop and ralph humprey), or was close friends with them (david novros and blinky palermo). the pictorial lyricism and rigorous subjectivity of much of this work, including marden's own, and of the work of the surface/support artists active in france at the same time, was at odds with the widespread, suffocating conceptual and postminimal orthodoxy of that particular moment. in an essay in the book, robert pincus-witten states that the work of the hand had become critically untenable due to the influence of the highly politicized photomechanical work championed by the publishers of 'october' magazine. the 'october' politics seem odd, given that many of the artists in this new exhibition/catalog are women (dorthea rockburne, mary heilmann, and the great jo baer) or black (al loving and the hard-hittin' jack whitten) or both (howardena pindell), and the magazine more often than not chose to focus upon the institutuional critiques of white males like michael asher, gordon matta-clark, and daniel buren. anyhow . . . what was my point? marden's clearly a 'master' of some sort, but of exactly what sort i sometimes wonder. i'll not comment on the paintings themselves until i see the exhibition. it might be instructive to see marden's survey alongside the manet 'maximillian' works scheduled to open next week.
I got a BA in 1972 and the death of paiinting was widely accepted in academia, anyway. Jack Burnham had written an influential book about the end of painting that shook people up. Long time ago. I saw the High Times show and I came away with an admiration for the resistance to the prevailing notion of that time. paintings I wouldn't get to see otherwise, and not all in one place. The show is curiously flat in affect though- maybe now everything old will seem new again. For me, Barbara Rose's Painting in the Eighties had a lot more energy.
About 10 years ago, I attended an interview where the interviewer asked Brice Marden, "Why do you think abstract painting is coming back?"Marden said, "It never left." He expanded on this by saying that individual artists pursue their art without regard to what the "art establishment" is willing to look at or accept.That attitude is key to what makes Marden's work (and that of a few others) strong enough to remain vital across decades, despite the fickle nature of the art publicity machine.
Brent: re fiscal- It looks like the FED is engineering a paper inflation to pay for the war – DJIA to 20k, NAS to 5k by 2010.Poe makes some good points about the fact painting was still alive in the 70’s, I don’t disagree. Also correct is RPW’s observation "that the work of the hand had become critically untenable due to the influence of the highly politicized photomechanical work championed by the publishers of 'october' magazine." The 60’s was an economic boom period but by the mid 70’s the country was in a depression because of the Asian oil crisis. As a result, the gallery scene contracted severely and survival became much more difficult as sales dried up. For painting, it was a fallow period and many of the painters poe mentioned were still extending painting ideas which had initially occurred in the late 60’s. The change came near the end of the 70’s, I recall being told by a gallerist to go see Susan Rothenberg’s first show at Willard, it generated a lot of buzz and marked a change in the climate.At the same time, Marden was making the grid based drawings which led to the stylistic change in his later work. I won’t say his earlier work had reached a dead end, but monochrome paintings live in a cul du sac. I know he had a dialogue with Diebenkorn, I think he admired RD’s works on paper and was looking for a way to make the ink drawings into paintings. There was some risk in the change, he already had an established market for the minimal work. I don’t think it had anything to do with trying to be popular, rather it was motivated by a desire to make an abstract painting in a different way
what's said here about marden's classic monochrome works is true . . . i recall an interview with him some time ago where he said he basically could have stayed with pace gallery, continued with that work, and suffered what he termed a 'silent creative death', or something to that effect. on the one hand, marden could easily have gone with the bleeding, blotchy grid drawings, and turned them into large-scale paintings. it's interesting that eventually he sought out the 'eastern' calligraphic gesture instead of the broken right-angles of those preceeding drawings . . . the rothenberg story is also compelling, and we shouldn't forget schnabel's huge presence on the scene by 1982, how this may have shaken up marden's way of thinking about his practice, and then his susequent shows with boone at that time. this is one of the reasons why i find it difficult to see marden as one of the last living 'modernist' painters, along with ryman and richter, which is exactly how the survey at moma likely presents him. i think with marden, 'modernist painting' has become a style among many, regardless of whether he recognizes his position fully or not. peter halley made a similar point about frank stella in the '80s, of course in reference to postmodernity and the simulacrum. maybe a similar argument applies to marden, even if you don't fully buy into the postmodern shtick . . . whatever the case, there's something interesting here, and it's kind of a relief that it doesn't involve sniping at younger artists with shitty, half-formed opinions.
Isn't he more interesting than Halley precisely because he is less concerned with situating himself and his legacy? Because the confines of his work are personal they are less of a formula.
Just saying every painter had an art school moment where their classmates were doing performance art in a wedding dress at a street corner and Marden was like this stubborn, rotten beacon of pure beauty. And I've never heard that about Halley.
Funny how Serra, Close and Marden really found unique voices from that Y class in the 60's. And very different from their work in grad school. Can we say the same today of the young MFA artists? How many of us are deluded into thinking our MFA work is worthy of one-person shows and high auction prices. There was an old saying that it takes 10 years of post graduate degree work to make something interesting. Jesus F Christ...I gotta makes this crap for another three years?! Yah, I agree with that time frame.Brice's new work is solid, harmonious and pretty. It talks about 'class' and 'regality' and spare time vs. hard work. I like it because it looks good.
Poe, it’s interesting you mention Schnabel, I remember seeing the show at the old Mary Boone gallery, the closet downstairs at 420. These were the very physical, somewhat reductive paintings with holes gouged out of them, that preceded the plate paintings. Looking back they seem like a transitional point between the reductive sensibilities of the preceding years and what followed in the early 80’s.As far as Marden being "one of the last living 'modernist' painters", I think it’s a moot point as you infer. One style among many, is closer to the truth. Twentieth century art, the modernist attitude of cascading styles as progress, is now a closed loop. Style exists as an aspect of painting, as a tool for expression, how this develops will set the course for 21st century painting. ‘Style’ as fashion will continue to exist but it’s not the same.
zen notwithstanding, 60s notwithstanding, you can't take the protestant out of the preppie. He tries so hard to flow but there's so many obstacles there. There's a rough honesty about that apparent in the cold mountain stuff that I like.
Yeah protestant. I dont know about half formed opinions - those are the ones that count in my book. Everything else is dogma.Screw your sanctimony dude. You are part of the the problem.Sniping is all I have. Will this world ever be mine? Kiss me with your last breath.it was easy for him to decide to scale up painting in the manner of a Mark Tobey with a stick. Pee like you mean it.Im more impressed by how he continues to make a career out of it. Thats the old fashioned part. Thats what makes him a modernist.As compositions they are fine - nothing is out of order, the eye meanders, the oxbows of thoughts are generated. Great.BUt the nature of the beast is so confining I cant find anything OTHER than zen. ANd who is zen all the time? I find it infuriating really. Or not really.My inchoate form is troubles me so.
maybe im too smart for this work and I need a new lesson-in-a-painting.Because Im working on a new language, a new syntax. Should I go to school for linguistics? Its not like that. Its unconscious, surreal. The stars are so bright here in the void. SO very bright.
It indeed appear'd to Reason as if Desire was cast out, but the Devil's account is, that the Messiah fell, & formed a heaven of what he stole from the Abyss.
Rexroth died in Santa Barbara in 1982 at age 76. He had spent his final years translating Japanese and Chinese women poets, as well as promoting the work of female poets in America and overseas. He is buried in a Santa Barbara cemetery overlooking the sea, and while all the other graves face inland, his alone faces the Pacific. His epitaph reads, "The swan sings / In sleep / On the lake of the mind."
In the early 70’s many artists felt there was a dominant and inevitable mainstream, and people who believed in it seemed to think what was “radical” was coming up with the next step, like there was a next step.It was pretty convincing- I was young and kind of believed it though at the time I wouldn’t have said it that way. Lots of my beliefs have fallen away. I wonder what we believe now that will seem inconceivable in another 10-20 years.I loved Marden’s work when I was young. Now I have mixed feelings about the work. Someone mentioned pillowcases- I would add bedsheets. This won’t endear me to lots of you, but so much abstract painting seems to have ended up as decoration by the yard, often marks of various kinds (ironic marks, pop marks, sarcastic marks, reified marks, eccentric marks…) on a monochrome field.The pseudo calligraphy, taking a form made to convey meaning and emptying it to make it more “esthetic”….The drawing, on the edge of representation, but too constrained by 60’s and 70’s formalism or without the courage to go there…The good taste…The whole pot smoking meditation thing…The whole Olympian esthete thing…But when I am in front of them and willing to give, over some of them still do give me pleasure.
"Lots of my beliefs have fallen away."So, what do you believe now?
I don't know. Beliefs are kind of hard. In terms of art?
Marden is and always has been the aesthete. I remember Mary Heilman (or was it E. Murray?!) saying that they found his monochrome work too beautiful and therefore they implied somehow untrustworthy...a classic modernist assessment if ever I heard one...Modernism isn't only defined by the Greenberg paradigm. I was a huge fan of Marden for a long time, the attention to detail, wonderful colour-weighting but do find myself tired of the 'great painter' hype around him now...as though that can possibly really mean anything now given the sheer sclae of the art scene.It is still beautiful painting but it explores in and around such a particular range of sensations and it is these sensations that I am losing faith in...they simply feel to me that they just do not say enough. They say plenty about Marden's aesthetic and history in a certain tradition modernist painting/expectation I guess but really the world is so much bigger and more complex now.But I still have a realsoft spot for his 'suicide notes' book and 'pre-calliagraphic' grid drawing
de verd is de berd
I posed the "what do you believe now?" question, not specifically to tomas, but because I think it is at the crux of why and how painters paint.Peer said, "…they simply feel to me that they just do not say enough…" and this may be a pivotal observation. Not that they don’t actually "say enough" but that you, as a viewer and artist expect more. The progression of ‘modern’ painting, painting over the last 150 years partly developed as a reaction to photography which relieved it from the function of mimetic documentation. Painters began to explore the more abstract aspects of painting, aspects which had always existed bet for the most part were subjugated by the mimetic ‘image’. This created a situation where it appeared (incorrectly) that there was some kind of ‘progress’ being made as the various implications of abstraction vs. representation were explored. As a result, the idea of the ‘new’ took hold, the notion of the ‘avant guard’ and it’s ‘mainstream’. Old ideas die hard, and I expect this perspective will continue for awhile but I believe something else must happen for painting to continue to resurrect itself from its ongoing perpetual death. How will this be achieved? I don’t know exactly, but I have some notions about what needs to be done. The idea that, the ‘visual’ and the ‘conceptual’ are somehow separate, one better than the other, must be done away with. I think that is what is occurring at the moment, it is a response to "they simply feel to me that they just do not say enough" statement. At the same time, painting must exploit its visual power, it must declare itself as a painting visually, not just a token in a conceptual exploit. In other words, it must be good painting, or it will be forgotten over time. To this end, the work of all painters provide clue and a path. The abstractionists isolated aspects of painting to create a focus on particular problem, we may find these paintings only partially satisfying but they also provide a point of departure and in some cases define useful aspects of the practice.If painting no longer follows the trail of ‘the new’ what’s left? I believe that painting must start to develop more like writing, literature or poetry. By this I am implying that painting is a language and that this language can be used to express, to manifest a vision of the world we experience. I am not saying that this should be done in a particular way, nor would I suggest that this is a new idea. What I am suggesting is that advanced painting in this new century will use tools from its entire history as a means for expression in the present.
George isn't Marden interesting not as the last modernist but as an eccentric slightly at odds with various artistic movements and outside of artistic progress. He was the smart assed masochist of minimalism. Unlike Halley who so desperately wants relevance. I'm not sure I buy the whole Zen thing either but there is a kind of power in freedom from attachment.
I dunno, I think it's much simpler: Painting has greater attention and span, when it has worked something, somehow, to turn down the noise to bring in the sound. Painting has many languages. Zen is from Japan. It's extremely rigorous, so right, has not a lot to do with this painting. I find it funny that as soon as something comes up a little mysterious, looks to have something there, but also appears to stave off language to explain it away, appears to be in some half-state of full/empty, it's always a trip down to the 100 zen shop?!
I don't see the need to put this in any predetermined historical context.The painting has three veils. The surface lines are interactive forms, human mostly.The color is the light through the figures.The gray lines are tracings, past thoughts (of the surface), projections, or expressive shadows.Marden is a linguist and a painter of pure form.
kelli, I can get behind your take on Marden. I’m not sure the Zen thing matters much, an artist, a painter starts with what they have, with knowledge from the time they are embedded in and proceed from there. In order to ‘believe’ in what they do they may find means to rationalize what they do. Although it is interesting, it doesn’t really matter, it is the result, the paintings which count. At any point in time, some artists will receive acclaim (and high prices) but all of this is temporal and subject to change or reevaluation over time. The only thing that matters are the paintings, more often than not the personality cults fade into secondary importance if any importance at all.
brent,I could have used music as a model and drawn the same conclusions. I think painting is one language with many dialects.
For me the crux is painting is a part of the broad visual arts dialogue. Interesting painting for me is one which engages with it...not through ignoring but through an exercise of choice ie to participate or not. Each choice has consequences. Marden's minimalist work explored in painting the issues of its time. His move into the calliagraphic was fascinating because it entailed the reinvention of a significant career that was in tatters, at least at a personal level, at the time.To speak of painting only within a painters world risks redundancy and irrelvance...eccentricity, quaintness?. I do like Kelli's comment about his eccentricity though...he is and I admire his capacity to keep things simple, but it is being given a heroic stature in the hype, to some extent at least, that doesn't really do it justive... at least he doesn't do this himself, not publically anyhow!I like these high modernist painters...simple, often big, direct work...Ryman, Mangold, Scully...but sometimes it is all a little too earnest...which is where E. Murray stepped in to liven things up a little and give a different perspective in paint...even if not everyone likes her kind of party!
this painting is miles beyond emurray
On the verge of a mjor career retrospective, the most illuminating impression Marden leaves on a reporter is his love of Bounty Paper Towels:"A Blank Canvas for Spills"http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/fashion/22POSS.html
why do you think that cooky? this marden is from late 80s early 90s. the murray was from 2005-6. does that matter? isnt it only fair to compare a late 80s EM to this?
oh forget it. ilooked at some late 80s EM and its bad too. what do I know? all I know is that these are some beautiful thighs.
George, I was speaking as Language with its subcategory 'languages'--'dialects' are a sub-sub category, which brings one to peer who mentions painting needn't stay or stick to this sub-category, but can, and has done, and will continue to do, find itself in the strangest of places. Marden is a classic painter, and I think there is room to move there. Though, there is ample room, permutation, to broadening dialog, at-the-same-time, listen to individual takes, or, equally, to a more definitive (koan)--within the whatever cul du sac ( I love that--cul du sac--brilliant!). However, I don't think that is truly possible. A koan is always nonsensical, unless you are there with it! Not there yet!Right, closeuup EM is dry and crusty, politics aside--any limb better I can chew the grist!
peer- the things you say about the sensations being familiar and not being enough- I've thought about that too.George- aren't music and visual things much more ambiguous than language is?
brent,The ‘language’ thing could get semantically messy quickly so let me try another tack. The history of painting, from Lascaux to the present, encompasses a broad array of approaches to marking an image (using ‘image’ in the broad sense, of something we see) Different cultures, at different times, codify the process differently and the historians slice and dice it all into categories of one sort or another. I view the end result, all previous painting, as a dictionary of sorts, guideposts along the way.I don’t think this is a particularly original idea "painting is a language" is a quote from Picasso. Painters have always looked at other painters they admired for inspiration and guidance. What I think is different today is a result of the existence of the internet. For the first time in history, it is possible for a painter to view reproductions of a much broader array of paintings, both historical and the most current work exhibited. I agree that reproductions are no substitute for seeing the original but they are of some value. Painters can choose what they look at, be surprised by what they find, or discard what doesn’t appeal to them. I think this has profound implications for how painting develops going forward.That all said, it still isn’t the answer to much other than a structure, or how to start, or create the image. This brings me back to Marden, and for discussion Scully. Both of these artists, working from the ideas of late modernism, ended up with a relatively benign and simple structure to organize the painting. For some painters this wouldn’t be sufficient, but for these two it was. Scully starts with a loose grid, Marden with a web of loopy lines. In both cases we might discount these starting points as trivial or arbitrary, which in fact they are. One might consider these apparently trivial starting points as a sign that painting is dead, that there is nothing left, no fog on the mirror. Yet paintings by both artists, subjects of major museum retrospectives at the moment, have the power to move us, well some of us, because I will agree that it can be a matter of taste. This implies that there is something else at work, something beside what might be found in the ‘language’ of painting we were discussing earlier. It is something more than just discerning a n-layer structure, something more than the color progressions, light surface or sense of touch. In an odd way one could view these paintings, or painting in general, somewhat like cooking. Everyone has the same ingredients, the same spices, but one dish tastes great and another tastes awful. In painting, somewhere in the process the painter finds a way to breath life back into paintings skeletal remains. There is no formula for this, there are tricks but they are just tricks, like spices they may improve the result or not. Somewhere in the process while the painter fights the despair of failure with the belief that a resurrection is possible, something miraculous happens and the painting assumes a presence, an existence as both an object in the world and as a world in the object. Vision made manifest.
tomas,"aren't music and visual things much more ambiguous than language is?"Yes, I was trying to use 'language' more in a taxonomic sense, like a dictionary as mentioned above. For example, if we look at music, it has a tonal structure (actually many, India and China come to mind) and instruments, and ‘notes’. These aspects can be assembled together in countless ways to varying affects. Moreover, there will be disagreement over which music is ‘better’. A couple of months ago I got a CD, ‘Withering to Death’ by the Japanese band Dir en grey. My friends hate it, yet I can listen to it on repeat, for me there is something there that works. In essence I think painting is the same way. I don’t expect we will all agree on everything, just because someone doesn’t like Murray doesn’t mean her work is no good, just that it doesn’t ring a bell for them at this particular moment. Recently I looked at a number of Constable’s, actually I don’t like the paintings all that much but he was really good at painting clouds. Twenty years ago I would have dismissed him out of hand. Disagreement is why we talk. It would be boring if everyone agreed and maybe why we get standoffish when the hype-meter redlines.
Constable was a very good if not a great painter.One of the first to work from nature.Those large sketches he did for his "six footer" academy pieces are amazing paintings.
pdog,Won't disagree, when I was young they had no interest for me. Now, well I downloaded a bunch of jpegs and decided I liked his clouds. I suppose it is a matter of taste and some paintings, like music, can cut through the noise.
Constable is to Wordsworth as Turner is to Coleridge.
Historically, where do you think Marden ranks with artists after 1950? Let's assume there are 4 tiers. Who belongs on the tiers 1-4? I would say Marden belongs towards the bottom of the 2nd tier or at the top of the 3rd. ??????
brian, who would you put at the top?
to subjective for me.hes in the top 10 after the 1950's.His prices have shown that for the last 20 years. Staying power in the market is what counts, he's repeating himself a lot but, hey at million plus a painting I would keep working on what works to.See the article in today's NY times about all his million dollor homes, geez some people are very lucky.
He only paints a few pictures a year if I remember correctly. This would of course send his prices through the roof.
That artist ranking stuff is funny like that website with the little red up or down arrows that mark where you are headed and your number rank. The thing about Marden is he's the skeleton in many artist's closets, at some point he meant something to a lot of people even if they later react against it. That's something.
The skeleton in my closet is drawing the marvel way. DOes that make me low brow?Or heroic - all my figures are seven or eight heads tall. Its all proportion and shit.I made my ankles thick way before I knew picasso, if you know what I mean.So When I saw Arshille Gorky, I was like, wow, so thats where Marvel got it. And then when I saw Michaelangelo I did a double take - did Michaelangelo influence Marvel? I was intrigued.SO I went to art school and discovered Brice Marden, painter of light (batel for the titel!)Apparently the L.E.S. millieu influenced a lot of artists in the same way that williamsburg is influencing artists today.One group went to the dark side and wore black. They are poor and academic and like mail art.Another group went to the light and own four homes.
5 and counting
I wonder about that language issue...it seems to me that language in painting, that set of pictorial conventions we sometimes refer to as language, are understood in certain ways at particular times. There was a time when those Marden monochromes seemed to mean something really important...what is interesting is how those meanings/relevancies shift and change. Fashion plays its part here too, and it is not a small part in my view...I am thinking of how this impacts on what we call history. From a distance it seems so reliable but then it all breaks down, in many ways it is all so arbitary, for example I remember reading of how Botticelli was re-introduced into the canon with the the advent of the PreRaphaelites. One thing about Constable though, his small weather studies of clouds are pretty remarkable...quite dry or rather detached though, they really do look like science studies...find much harder to fathom his larger more orchestrated images...a bit so what to me!
Ha!, everything IS arbitrary, at least its meaning. A spider that weaves his web does so not for its design but to stay with it just a few more moments. Anyhow the web looks good and feels funny when you move your head through!But I agree, what a funny idea waiting for the next starting point, as arbitrary as it may be. That's where the power of language (suggestiveness) comes in, with all its context. It's all about choice anyway, the horrible truth is one thing is not better than the next, but sometime back in the learning process zip put in this code, and now even he's fighting it;)And that approaches, somewhere near, but not, Yen! What a humiliating thought!
Yes peer. I don’t think the language comparison works at all. Beyond the large shifts in meanings across time- even when interpretation is contemporary with the work, unless people have read the same histories (and accepted them), or read criticism (and accepted it, which people often seem to do) there is remarkably little consensus about what visual things mean.
Well ranking artist is hard and kinda silly but it is sometimes valid when you are trying to put an artist in context with his peers, past and present.By the way, the new W has some interesting art articles and profiles.
Peer said, "… that set of pictorial conventions we sometimes refer to as language, are understood in certain ways at particular time."Yes, I think this is true. It becomes even more complex if one considers different cultures and historical periods. What I’m thinking about is, that the shift in how the elements of the ‘language’ are understood, is what becomes interesting.What I am suggesting is that painting has a set of characteristics or conventions, these are somewhat finite, but still expanding, and provide us a set of tools for expression. Using the musical analogy, we can choose what instruments we use to play particular notes, melodic or not, we can bend or blend the sound, but it is all done within a broadly defined framework. I actually don’t think this is anything new, it is more or less what has happened in the past, in a more restrained way. What is different now is that there are more painters alive than ever before in history and we have internet access to information. The days of a single dominant style have been over for 30 years. As a model it is no longer viable because it results in a glut of look alike work. It would be like a publisher saying, "ok English is the language and here is your plot, write a book" to 200 different writers. Artists are egotistical and contrary, the first thing some would want to do is change the plot, yet many would want to go along with the ‘security’ of operating within an approved framework. What you would get is what we actually see in the galleries, a lot of paintings which look like they have the same plot and some where the artist broke the ‘rules’. Now if you pick an earlier period in art history and look closely at what happened, it was more or less like that. There were a lot of artists in the (then current) academy, and a few who stand out, the ones we remember.At the current moment there are thousands of artists, if they are all trying to define a little piece of the language, looking for ‘the next inevitable step’ or ‘the next new’, then I think they might be following a model which is not viable. It seems to me that the focus in painting needs to shift from the 20th century notion chasing the ‘new’ and instead to use its power to express something we feel about the human condition at this moment in history. To me this seems as open ended as it can get, if a painter wants to be narrative, or minimal, or sensuous, or political, or anlytical, or emotional, or ironic, or funny, or whatever, I am suggesting the tools are there and relatively well defined, so what matters is how well can you use them to make yourself felt.I’m thinking out aloud, so maybe this is a bit fuzzy, does it make any sense?
'the tools are there to make yourself felt' sure! George, that works, doing so now in many different ways. Remember the guy who has this lamp switching on and off in a gallery setting? Most of the posters here probably will say It's crap! But think in terms of art turning that lamp on and off, the possibility of art being able to do things like that. That's what I want, to drive down the road, knowing Art did that?! I'm mucking around playing with the pure and the capitalist, but really the two things are the same, there is a serious side on the flip.
kelli said something earlier I thought was interesting"I can't help it I've always liked him more than I want to in theory especially the early more monochromatic paintings which I think must have been kind of decadent at the time for their"followed later by tomas observing"there is remarkably little consensus about what visual things mean"It is true that over history, the original or intended ‘meaning’ of an artwork can blur. I would extend this same thought to what we call ‘theory’ which is also equally fugitive. Yet, I was moved by the Fra Angelico exhibition at the Met as were other viewers I spoke with on the days I was there. Certainly it cannot be because of ‘vatican theory’ or a long forgotten symbolism, most contemporary viewers don’t have the background to decode this aspect of his paintings. What we are left with are the paintings themselves. Why is it that they still are compelling after 500 years? The answer to that is what painting is really about, everything else just locates the painting in our contemporary moment which we must transcend.
George said 'It seems to me that the focus in painting needs to shift from the 20th century notion chasing the ‘new’ and instead to use its power to express something we feel about the human condition at this moment in history.'I agree, that is my understanding as well although just what that means is another story! I remember a talk I heard by Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe about a similar issue. He felt that art had deconstructed everything but its own history and this was the next place to go. Of course artists have always done just this...picked their own way through the canon and its margins. Another similar comment was by Peter Schjeldahl about how painters/artists develop what he called a self-enabling fiction that gave some logic or structure to the journey of making, again through so called influences. I think what you are speaking of is similarand the focus you mention is really a context we call understanding...and that understanding is what allows for a registering of the strong/overwhelming impact of relativity and arbitariness, market money and power...go to any art fair. This is such a contrast to the authority of the modernist new, where new was always understood as development and progress. I thnk we can get that this is well and truly over. All if this makes Marden, Scully et al periodically to me in how they work to make this mode of high modernist making reinvent itself to reestablish some form of contemporary relevance. I think they do do this...at least some of the time.Brebt, I also liked this on/off lightbulb trick...have seen a couple of variants of it about the place, Nauman and Creed I think...always bleakly challenging in the thoughts it raises in me...a bit like how the monochrome used to work maybe!
That Fra Angelico show knocked me out. But I don't think we remember him because he broke the rules. I think that's projecting a modernist idea on the past.
George once somebody was annoyed with me for saying no to something lucrative and said "this is what people dream about when they go to art school" and I just thought well I went to art school to learn to draw and a lot of other clueless,stupid idealistic reasons. Marden, Rothko and Gregory Guillespie were a big deal for me then. The artnet article questions his relevence but that kind of misses the point about why he's relevent. The monochromes weren't a reduction of art like Reinhardt's they were this brazen solitary endeavor. I still can't bring myself to laugh or sneer at it.
Well aside from the snide pillow crack.
kelli,I don’t like CF, I think he’s an ass. Whether or not Marden is relevant at the moment depends on the viewer. Whether or not he will be historically relevant, I think it’s too soon to tell. I like Marden’s work, for a long time I had a clipping of one of his paintings pinned to the shelf on my painting table, it got lost somehow. The funny thing is that it was just there as a reminder, not because I was looking at his work seriously, but of his working seriously. Basically his paintings are dumb ideas but he worked at them seriously, what’s left are the paintings, some better than others.I think it’s important for a developing painter, heck even an old painter, to see the work of another painter who really moves them. The first time I saw the big Monet Waterlillies at the old (old) MOMA, I just broke down in tears. I felt like an idiot but I cherished that feeling because it defined what I had to do. It happens every now and then, I hide my response better but it’s still there. There were several Fra Angelico’s at the Met that were really amazing. Those are good moments, hard as hell to do in the studio.You’re the first person, well almost the first, I’ve heard mention Gillespie. I know about his work because I had a roommate who was at the Rome Academy at the same time he was.
The pillow crack is good, it helps define something you would solve differently. Makes sense.
I met him (GG) before his suicide and he seemed kind of defeated and painfully self-aware. That type of precise work is tough.
Kelli, I really like a lot of Gillespie's work, and living in the Boston area have been expoesed to a fair amount of it.He did some really original paintings.He was a manic depressive and had suffered most of his adult life with this affliction.In the end it took him.He hung himself in his studio.It's very sad and tragic, but from what I heard from people who knew him his last years seemed to very painful.
I met him in grad school and he was very kind to me. I remember being transfixed by his work at the Hirshorn when I was a little girl. It seemed so unlike everything else.
man I just read Finch's piece on the Moma' rtro of Marden, Someone should tell that guy to take the stick out of his ass and maybe he will feel better.It's so obnoxious and condescending.I'm not a huge fan of Marden's work but he's a pretty good painter who has had great run in his career.Finch's article is just so nasty in tone and offers nothing. He's just being nasty to be nasty.Finch, what's the point? Why not write why the paintings don't work?Why just stand there like some jealous school boy and make snide remarks.
The jokes on him. Some of the older artists younger artists admire like Agnes Martin are admired not for the tropes or styles they employed but for what they stood for or accomplished in their time. Does anybody else want to admit the secret people they admired when they were young and sincere?
I just like seeing good paintings,I don't care if they are done in the 18th century or the 21st.I can look at Sir Henry Raeburn's paintings and get into his handling of modeling a head.(Used to live in Edinburgh, saw a lot of Scottish paintings.)
Hes so out there, how can you not love that painting.http://www.artincontext.org/LISTINGS/IMAGES/FULL/5/S0E7G453.htm
Marden is boring. His lifestyle is borning. His painting is borning. The stuff written here says it all.Linguist? Painter of pure form? Simple and complex at the same time? (i.e. water)"I could look at it for a long time without getting bored"Is high praise indeed! I rarely get bored on the subway platform. DO you?No, propbably not."Because the confines of his work are personal they are less of a formula."Is an interesting statement. However it's logic is beyond me.Is this Zen? No, not really. Zen implies the road to enlightenment. This work implies the road to a "mind eraser" at the local bar. Or maybe the way home."rotten and disrespectful and decadent,"are three words I would not use to describe this painting. Except maybe decadent in the same way Schnabel is. Did they or did they not gety in a fistfight? Inquiring minds want to know."he made the whole enterprise still seem possible. for preppies maybe. "Brice Marden's work is the real dealfor a hedge funder."Brice's new work is solid, harmonious and pretty. It talks about 'class' and 'regality' and spare time vs. hard work. is probably the most intelligent statement on this thread."marden's clearly a 'master' of some sort, but of exactly what sort i sometimes wonder.WOnder no more.
Come on Zip: Tell us the secret artists you used to like.
I used to like Phillip Guston. Basquiat is on the fence. Most kids dig him right?Theres the work and the life though. Well I mentioned Marvel - so right there you have Robert E howards ideas - HP lovecraft, social darwinism, depression and colonialism (the exotic oriental or orientalism) Civilization and its discontents.John Buscema was the penciler I think. I like pencil drawings.I also liked Red Sonja.Tin Tin - there are several faves - "Cigars of the Pharao" and "FLight 714".COmic books used to be good - raw even. Like early heavy metal comix. Zapp Comix. As far as fine art I havent changed much in likes and dislikes - except now Im more into conceptual art where before I would have gone to comics for my "read" now I "misread" the stuff "that has no text". I allways liked Rothko, probably because he killed himself. Makes a great case for SAD (seasonal affective disorder is no joke) and grow lights. I got that right away when I saw his work.I never liked dali's melting clocks all that much - but I like the trippy shit. The ants remind me of the david lynch ear. What lies beneath. That sort of thing. also an australian movie called "Walkabout" that has some good ant footage in the beginning.Never got into HR Giger really. MC Escher is allright to look at but no "content" other than the math.THose are some of the "beginner" artist right?Then you are supposed to move on to more abstract stuff, edgier.Waterlillies in reproduction sucks ass. In person its nice, but I believe dude had cateracts.But its a great painting to look at to get what modernist mean by surface and so on - correct em if Im wrong but its a modern painting.Artists I still like that I knew from early on:Bosch, Breugel, Giacomettis stuff aside from the stupid figures.
I like that stuff too. The only comics I like are the South American porn I used to get in Bushwick: Ulula the she wolf and Sukia the vampire with a gay roomate named Gary.
But see the point of telling secrets is they are supposed to be embarassing. Guilty pleasures yno. So like if I admit that I like Rod Stewart.I liked these artists when I was younger: Hans Hoffman, Frankenthaler, Ross Bleckner.
Used to like Ivan Albright.
Brice has always made beautiful paintings He never gave up on the idea of beauty ...There are Tons of painters who kept painting all though the 60s-to now. I don't think he saved painting but the others had some provincial NYC idea about the work had to be "tough" anti- decorative ...it seems to have generated out of Greenberg Formalism/Duchamp Thinking back in the "old Days" last century
Peter Schjeldahl on Brice Marden
I like Robert Crumb a hell of lot more than Marden, and you can't compair Marden to old masters as its to soon to see if he has lasting power after he has died.Come to think of in 50 years I wont be here as well, but lets give the guy a bit of space with the comparisons with old masters.Giacometti's drawing are real good.
Marden, painter of myst. Myth. Hes been painting the same painting over and over again. I dunno maybe everyone does this, but you know, you can add some salt and shit.If paintings are symbols, why repeat the form? IT IS MINIMAL to repeat the form. SO why is this not minimal? Im listening.Schjeldahl wins the aliteration award:"But the painter who mattered most to the precocious Marden’s maturation was Mark Rothko"It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints, as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academicism. There is no such thing as a good painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is crucial and only that subject matter is valid which is tragic and timeless. That is why we profess a spiritual kinship with primitive and archaic art.""Silence is so accurate," -ROthko
On a first encounter, they create sensations not yet transformed into feelings. Win or lose,...OK I'll give up on the new Honda FORD Capri, Strip feeling to the bone (and throw it to zip)-- Climb a thousand trees on Plantation Coconut , if I can get to this: A solitary sensation is worth a thousand feelings, and yet more, ten thousand sets of knowing, whereas a thousand sensations would only improve the dialog to the sensationalist and the please. Tricky business--thanks George and peer for the read. I usually can't say much when I like the work. When I was idealist: this stuff, the surfaces in the early monochromes, were the things I would look at--in the real and in book. Like PS mentions, it was always a matter of just not knowing what to do with a sensation not established. It was sure annoying! And if there was ever a time I wanted a safety valve, a pigeon hole, it was then--college in dirty painting clothes, dragging around all the naïvety, freshness, and puzzlement.I think Marden is, IS really OK, myths and rhetoric aside.
you mean psychologicly? "If the current era is, like Panofsky’s Renaissance, a period of hybridity and interdisciplinarity, then it can also be described as a period where, in many different, local places, experts of diverse kinds, interested in “many things,” meet and learn from one another. The late 20th century has generally been described as a period of postmodernism, in which the stable values of the past were no longer pertinent and were being replaced by a medley of ideas from different sources. Instead of taking the general view that sees ideas as hopelessly jumbled together, one can look for the complex dynamics that arise when specific ideas come into contact with each other at a variety of local, concrete places. This perspective corresponds with recent trends in social theory, in which there is less focus on the individual3 Erwin Panofsky, 1952, “Artist, Scientist, Genius. Notes on the Renaissance Dammerung,” The Renaissance: A Symposium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. An accurate history of the 20th century would counter the widespread but false impression that there has been a renaissance of creativity enabled uniquely by the computer.
Oh zip, right now I'm running up and down the isles of this keyboard looking for a left. Being human and unpredictable isn't flogging a dead horse which includes what does anyone think of Xylor's work? I first saw it at friends' gallery here in Tokyo. They were small, in a small japanese room upstairs, tatami, incredible relentless things. Love to see them bigger! (they) Remind me of 'iron tea', with the logarithmic, or something like that--not how things are meant to come up... noticed on James Wagner's blog.http://www.canadanewyork.com/artist/xylor/
hey ttg--chek out xylor on my bloghttp://closeuup.blogspot.com/2006/09/dancing-barefoot.htmlclick on her name and theres her website...good stuff
Brice Marden listens to Jay Z! ? What a wigger!
SOmehow someway Im gonna make it about the hood someday.-Brice Marden
I love this, a blog about Brice Marden turns to praising the great Gregory Gillespie!No doubt present and future generations will be inspired by this master.
Thanks closeuup! I went to your blog back in Sept, but didn't know if you click... I was intro'd to her hp last year when I saw the work. It's cool, also fascinating, building complex webs out of experience that lead to unpredictables--inexorable presence of the thing and its experience. I said hi on your blog.I think the point, if we digest the thread is a figure like GG didn't get over it, Marden did! So in a sense you can see two or more sides of BM and only one side of GG. Also I think the divulging of platonic love embracing disparate models was kelli's tactic! Kind of a sweet scent!
a) at this point, for myself, it is easier to "see" Marden by contrasting him with Jake Berthotb) what's interesting (again, maybe only to myself) is Marden's configurations never let you downc) what's not so interesting is there's no resistance in the recent work. The first line paintings from the late 80's were very strange, highly idiosyncratic.d) a quote Mr Marden is probably aware of: "Do not let me hear/ Of the wisdom of old men, but rather their folly,/ Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,/ Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God."e) one more quote, from Emerson: (paraphrase) The more he touted his honor, the faster we counted the spoons.
Observations based on all the photos of Brice Marden:1. Williamsburg Paints! Alright!2. Is that tape on his butt?3. If I had any one of his studios I wouldn't listen to any music at all when painting.4. I liked the Cold Mountain painting show at Dia in 1991. I hate the new paintings, but seeing the pic in the New Yorker that new painting looks awfully good amidst the gray and white of the studio and artist.5. Hot mama daughters! Was that an arranged marriage to ensure passing on the high cheekbone dna?
the little piece comapring the work with Greek sculpture was off the mark -- granted, marden seems to have extracted from the greeks a sense of "iconicity," reducing the connotation of that word to exclude all but the notion that artworks' meanings must be received instantaneously. if a comparison to any classisizing work is to be made, it would be something more on the order of poussin's "rape of the sabine women," which accounts for baroque dynamism but then constantly forces it back into the classical order. this is what marden does --acounts for unruly phenomena outside of a strict order (here a hard-edge Ab-ex /minimlist order), then forces those phenomena back into the strict minimalist order --a lot like how Poussin forced baroque phenomena back into a classical order. noble enough, but it's just dead boring to look at in a public museum show. kind of a miserly artist. i'd rather look at a poussin any day. btw, coincidence or strange phenomenon that zach shows squigly paintings the same month.
his work is both unambitious and wonderous. the show is much better than i had expected. he makes some great moves (color relationships that both sing and dance). cold mountain paintings excellent! most recent paintings are brighter and less wonderous but single drawing in last room is so RIGHT!
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My view on Marden is simple: show me a single work that holds up under even the lightest scrutiny. I haven't seen it yet.
I forgot to add: in the 70's I walked out on a Marsden lecture when he compared himself to Giotto. Was I unfair? You decide.
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