Brice Marden (b. 1938)
Grove Addenda III
signed, titled and dated 'Grove Addenda III B. Marden 73-4' (lower right)
graphite, beeswax and gelatin silver prints on paper
29¾ x 22½ in. (75.5 x 57.1 cm.)
Executed in 1973-1974.
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
New York, Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart-Berlin, Staatlich Museen zu Berlin, Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings, October 2006-October 2007, pp. 180 and 304, no. 50 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Brice Marden's best work is deeply influenced by the places he has lived and worked, the cultures in which he has immersed himself and the art of the past, both ancient and recent. The artist states: "The more exposure you have to real art, the more you see that there's a mysterious communalism, a brotherhood and sisterhood. As artists, we aren't bound to represent our culture, or race. Art operates on a level that politics doesn't" ((Brice Marden interviewed by M. Kimmelman, "At the MET With: Brice Marden; A Tour that moves from Calligraphy to Pollock, New York Times, 24 June 1994).

In 1971, after years of working almost exclusively in New York, Brice Marden travelled with his wife to Hydra, a Greek island on the Aegean Sea, off the coast of the Peloponessus. He also spent time exploring Rome and Pompeii and studying Greek and Roman architecture, which had a profound effect on the artist. The grand remains of classical Greek civilization played a major role in both his drawings and paintings from this period (the grove in the series title refers to the landscape's surrounding olive trees). In Grove Addenda III, executed in 1973-1974, both the myths of the Greek gods and of early Christianity appear above two identically shaped black rectangles.

The repetition of forms, materials and techniques echo Marden's paintings from this series in which he employed a mixture of oil and beeswax to the canvas in shades of greys, whites and blacks. The paintings were made on multiple panels, abutting in vertical or horizontal bands, echoing the Post-and-lintel architecture common to the region of Hydra and the fragments of Greek monuments. These forms would specifically inflect the composition and structure of Marden's work for the next two decades.

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