Brice Marden (b. 1938)
Brice Marden (b. 1938)
1 More
Brice Marden (b. 1938)


Brice Marden (b. 1938)
signed and dated 'B. Marden 70' (lower right)
graphite and beeswax on two adjoined sheets of paper
40 ¼ x 50 ¼ in. (102.2 x 127.6 cm.)
Executed in 1970.
Bykert Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1971
K. Kertess, Brice Marden Paintings and Drawings, New York, 1992, p. 163 (illustrated).
Saint-Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, L'art vivant aux Etats-Unis, July-September, 1970, p. 58.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, American Drawings 1963-1973, May-July 1973.
Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum; Saint Louis, Webster College, Loretto-Hilton Gallery; New York, Bykert Gallery; Fort Worth Art Museum and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Brice Marden Drawings, January 1974-March 1975, no. 26.
New York, Bykert Gallery, Drawings, December 1975-January 1976.
New York, Museum of Modern Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings, October 2006-May 2007, p. 162, no. 32 (illustrated).
New York, Matthew Marks Gallery, Brice Marden: Graphite Drawings, November-December 2013, no. 14 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

Brice Marden's career is rooted in an intelligent and assertive commitment to abstract painting, and an unwavering belief in the subjective resonance of light, color and surface. In 1966, Marden developed a technique that emphasized this sensitivity, dipping an oil-covered brush into a mixture of melted beeswax and turpentine, and applying it generously to the support, smoothing it with a spatula to eliminate the brushstrokes while retaining the sense of the handmade. This singular method created paintings that achieved the textural delicacy and intensity of color that Marden had been searching for in his earlier work, a technique that was to establish his career and remain central to his practice until the 1980s.

Untitled, from 1970, is an early example of these beeswax paintings, executed distinctly on two adjoined sheets of paper to achieve a more monumental scale. The balance of deep black and warm white is demonstrative of Marden's profound sensitivity to color and recalls, perhaps presciently, the zips and unadulterated color fields of Barnett Newman, who became a tremendous inspiration for Marden following the 1971 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. "I begin work with some vague color idea; a memory of a space, a color presence, a color I think I have seen" (B. Marden, quoted in D. Anfam, "Brice Marden", Artforum, January 2007 pp. 242-243).

More from The Collection of Paul F. Walter

View All
View All