“Sagacious Show in a Handsome Shack”

brice marsden

Brice Marden’s “Cold Mountain Study” (22), from 1988, at “T” Space in Rhinebeck, N.Y. Credit Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York.

Brice Marden’s artistic and cultural crossing of boundaries is exciting.

In the mid-1980s, the abstract painter Brice Marden veered from his early monochromes and grids to calligraphic circuits, inspired by his reading of the… poet Hanshan, or Cold Mountain… Black ink drawings made with sticks, feature lines and curlicues that dribble from the top of the paper to the bottom, like Chinese characters… Calligraphy serves… as the genesis of Mr. Marden’s abstractions…

Chinese poetry… became the passage through which… he could reconcile the expressiveness of gestural drawing with the rigors of the modernist grid. Finding that passage meant leaving safer shores, and learning from another artist (a poet, in this case) from a distant place and time….

(Jason Farago, “‘Brice Marden,’ What to See in New York Art Galleries Right Now,” NYTimes, 6-26-19)

(c) 2019 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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