Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings


Brice Marden. Nebraska. 1966

(American, born 1938)
Oil and beeswax on canvas, 58 x 72" (147.3 x 182.9 cm). Collection the artist

Director, Glenn Lowry: Nebraska was finished in 1966, and included in Marden’s first one-person exhibition in New York City that same year.

Gary Garrels:

Curator, Gary Garrels: Why did you choose to call it Nebraska?

Artist, Brice Marden: That summer I had taken my first driving trip across the country, and I was very impressed with Nebraska. I just thought it was a very surprising and beautiful landscape. And I made a lot of notes about it while we were driving and then just ended up making this painting sort of celebrating the landscape of Nebraska.

Gary Garrels: Obviously, it’s not a literal landscape. It’s a very abstract painting.

Brice Marden: You have some idea. You’re referring to your memory as to what the situation was. You’re just trying to make a painting, and having chosen this as, say, “subject matter” it keeps you on track.

I had written color notes. You know, like, viridian plus this, plus that, plus that. So I’m starting with a vague idea about Nebraska, these greens of Nebraska or whatever feelings I had driving through the landscape, and then I’m turning it into a very specific thing called a painting. It’s not a representation of Nebraska, but it wouldn’t be called Nebraska if Nebraska wasn’t a big help. It was meant to be some sort of an homage.

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