Art | November 28, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Gagosian

Brice Marden. Let the painting make you
Gagosian, New York
November 02 – December 22, 2023

Gagosian is pleased to announce Let the painting make you, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Brice Marden (1938–2023) opening on November 2 at 980 Madison Avenue in New York. The exhibition features a group of large paintings that Marden made in his studio in Tivoli, New York, in 2023, along with sixteen recent drawings that he made on the Caribbean island of Nevis and in Marrakech, Morocco. The paintings are characterized by weblike linear networks that cover variously colored grounds, and the group has a raw, spontaneous look, showing Marden drawing on intuition honed over a lifetime.

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Image courtesy of Gagosian

These final works convey his idea of letting the paintings “make” us. Marden was inspired by a broad range of art historical sources and spiritual traditions, and by experience gleaned through extensive travel. Allied with references to the natural world, these resources inspired an open-ended approach to painting through which he transformed earthly material into transcendent compositions of shape, color, and texture. Marden worked on the six large paintings in the exhibition simultaneously for about a year, while confined to a wheelchair.

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Image courtesy of Gagosian

The compositions’ relatively free look when compared to those in These paintings are of themselves, his previous exhibition at Gagosian, in 2021, resonates with earlier series, reflecting a longstanding alternation in his practice between more and less controlled approaches to the image. Marden completed Untitled, a work comprised of seven monochrome panels each painted a different single color, a few days before his passing on August 10.

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Image courtesy of Gagosian

Paul Galvez, in his catalogue essay, observes the way in which “any attempt at grounding, at secure focalization, is erased, overlapped, or cancelled, all the better to ensnare every element in the flux of a planar web.” Tiffany Bell contextualizes this approach in terms of Marden “ending his conversations sooner, unveiling his layers of work. It is opening the door, allowing a closer look into his creative process. By willing himself to stop refining, towards the end of his career, we are seeing how it starts.” Let the painting make you are accompanied by a new publication with a foreword by Larry Gagosian, texts by Tiffany Bell and Paul Galvez, and photographs by Helen and Mirabelle Marden.

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Image courtesy of Gagosian

Brice Marden was born in 1938 in Bronxville, New York, and died in 2023 in Tivoli, New York. Collections include the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Tate, London; and Kunstmuseum Basel. Exhibitions include Cold Mountain, Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1991–92, traveled to Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1992; Menil Collection, Houston, 1992; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 1993; and Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany, 1993); Work of the 1990s: Paintings, Drawings, and Prints, Dallas Museum of Art (1999, traveled to Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, 1999; Miami Art Museum, 1999–2000; and Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2000); A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2006, traveled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2007; and Hamburger Bahnhof–Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2007); Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech, Morocco (2019); Think of Them as Spaces: Brice Marden’s Drawings, Menil Drawing Institute, Houston (2020, traveled to Kunstmuseum Basel, 2022), and Brice Marden and Greek Antiquities, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece (2022).


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Image courtesy of Gagosian
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Image courtesy of Gagosian

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