Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings

Brice Marden
(American, born 1938)
Homage to Art 14 (Fra Angelico)

Brice Marden. Homage to Art 14 (Fra Angelico). 1974

(American, born 1938) Graphite, beeswax, and collage on paper, Overall: 30 1/4 x 20 3/4" (76.8 x 52.7 cm). Private Collection Audio courtesy of Acoustiguide

GLENN LOWRY: Professor Richard Shiff:

RICHARD SHIFF: Marden’s someone with an intense interest in the history of art. And it's reflected in his use of commercial postcard images.

GLENN LOWRY: In his Homage to Art series, Marden uses postcards from museums -- this one reproduces a work by the Renaissance master Fra Angelico.

RICHARD SHIFF: Like Marden’s earlier drawings with grids, it's much more complicated than it at first appears. He tends to want to preserve the absolute planarity of the paper.

BRICE MARDEN: I used very heavy paper, and I would scrape away part of the paper and insert the postcard into that,so that it was sunken in and it wasn’t layered. Because I felt that making collage was a bit of a simplified way of creating a space.

These also come at the time I’m thinking very much about the idea of plane and image. So I insert a card that has an image on it, and I draw immediately up to that edge with a black surface, which is my plane image as opposed to Fra Angelico’s. But it’s also my homage to Fra Angelico.

GLENN LOWRY: The black, says Shiff, has really been labored over.

RICHARD SHIFF: To set the quality of the reproduction off in just the right way, so the commercially produced postcard becomes much more than the simple found object. It's been brought to its highest level of chromatic brilliance by the blackness that Marden surrounds it with.

GLENN LOWRY: Just to the right is Marden’s homage to Goya’s La Marquise de la Solana. You’ll find a major picture based on this Goya in the Special Exhibitions galleries on the sixth floor.

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