Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings

Brice Marden
(American, born 1938)
Bear Print

Brice Marden. Bear Print. 1997–98/2000

(American, born 1938) Oil on linen, Overall: 84 x 60" (213.4 x 152.4 cm). Collection Peter Morton, Los Angeles

GLENN LOWRY: This painting is called Bear Print.

GARY GARRELS: In the early ‘90s you got a piece of property out in rural Pennsylvania with a studio there, is that right?

BRICE MARDEN: I did, yes. I was going out to the studio one day, and I saw a bear walking along this fence line, and I picked up my dog and took her back into the house. It was very impressive, just to see this bear moving along, and the kind of bulk and muscularity of it all. Every time I went to the studio, there was a chance of running into the bear. So I made a group of paintings really sort of based on this experience of seeing the bear.

Bear Print was started on a piece of canvas which was not well prepared and cracked. And when I got back to the studio in New York, I took it off the chassis and inundated it with turpentine, and printed it onto a fresh piece of canvas, which I then stretched onto the old stretcher chassis, and then continued to make the painting. So that’s why it’s called Bear Print.

GARY GARRELS: So the underlying configuration of lines was transferred from the original painting onto this canvas.”

BRICE MARDEN: Yeah. I haven’t done it before and I haven’t done it since. And then the painting just becomes like a sort of free exercise in linearity. But the forms do have a certain robustness to them that’s somewhat reminiscent of the bear, but it’s not a depiction of the bear.

GLENN LOWRY: By the early 90s, Marden was using three-foot brushes to make linear paintings like this one. To hear more about this technique as you look at the other paintings in this gallery press 6301.

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