Brice Marden. Zen Study 3 (Early State) from Cold Mountain Series. 1990

Brice Marden Zen Study 3 (Early State) from Cold Mountain Series 1990

  • Not on view

Since the 1960s, Brice Marden has been making paintings, drawings, and prints that relate to both the painterly gestures of Abstract Expressionism and the intellectual rigor of Minimalism, resulting in abstract works that refer to such diverse subjects as alchemy, religion, and mythology. He first studied printmaking as a student and had an early job at a screenprint shop, giving him the opportunity to work in that technique. Later, at the invitation of publisher Robert Feldman of Parasol Press, he began to make etchings. He was inspired by his initial collaboration with printer Kathan Brown at Crown Point Press and has worked extensively in this medium, exploring its potential for subtle mark-making and surface richness and relishing the physical engagement it requires. To date, Marden has completed more than one hundred fifty prints, most of which appear in some sixty portfolios and series.

Dedicated to Marden's goddaughter, the portfolio 12 Views for Caroline Tatyana reflects a fascination with ancient Greek architecture that was sparked after Marden began spending summers on the island of Hydra. Here he captures the effects of sunlight and shadow on colonnades, and also explores serial formats and systems as he combines plates to create permutations and mirror images throughout the portfolio.

During the late 1980s Marden became interested in calligraphy, evident in Zen Study 3 (Early State) and Zen Study 6 (Early State). Based on poems of a celebrated Chinese poet named "Cold Mountain," it is made up of tangled webs and vertical gestures suggesting poetic couplets. The etching process for this print—sugarlift—allows for flowing gesture, which Marden created by dipping a stick in a sugar solution and drawing with it on a prepared etching plate.

Publication excerpt from an essay by Harper Montgomery and Sarah Suzuki, in Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 202.
Medium
One from a series of six etching and aquatints
Dimensions
plate: 20 11/16 x 27 3/16" (52.6 x 69.1 cm); sheet: 27 3/8 x 35 1/4" (69 x 89.6 cm)
Publisher
Brice Marden, New York
Printer
Jennifer Melby Editions, New York
Edition
3
Credit
Linda Barth Goldstein Fund
Object number
432.1990
Copyright
© 2021 Brice Marden / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Department
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].