After studying painting at Boston University and at Yale, Brice Marden moved to New York in 1963. His monochrome paintings began the following year: long horizontal canvases and joined diptychs or triptychs, painted in a range of grays shading into green and blue. Their velvety surfaces are built up of many layers of oil paint mixed with wax. The monochromes increasingly took on the colors and characteristics of landscape during Marden's sojourns in Greece, which began in the 1970s.
In 1983, after traveling in Asia, he embarked on a second major body of work, heavily influenced by traditional Asian calligraphy. These gestural paintings involve sinuous brushstrokes that wind across a white ground. Marden's "glyphs" are inspired by Asian characters, but have no set meaning. Since 2000, he has combined calligraphy with vibrant monochromes in large-scale paintings.
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