Etchings to Rexroth was created during a period when Marden was moving away from the flat, rectangular panels that had characterized his earlier work and developing an interest Asian calligraphy. At the same time, Marden began to look to nature for inspiration. Using sticks, he produced hundreds of drawings based on the trees and seashells of Thailand and the mountains and seascapes of Greece. Based on a grid, with characters layered onto and beside one another, Chinese calligraphy served as the model for Marden to translate the feeling of these natural objects without having to depict them literally. For Etchings to Rexroth Marden drew on a copper plate using a small group of signs in vertical columns. As the series progressed he began to link the signs and by the end, the grid has all but disappeared, the final plates heavily worked. While working on the series Marden was reading works by Ezra Pound based on translations of Chinese poetry as well as Kenneth Rexroth's translations of poems by eighth-century Chinese poet Tu Fu. It is from Rexroth that the series gets its name.