Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings
February 23–May 13, 2007
By Gary Garrels, senior curator, Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles
Brice Marden: A Retrospective of Paintings and Drawings presents an unprecedented gathering of the artist’s work. With more than 50 paintings and an equal number of drawings, the exhibition draws from all phases of the artist’s career, beginning with works from the 1960s and ending with two new large-scale paintings. The gradual, deliberate evolution of the artist’s work becomes evident through the chronological arrangement, as does his constant exploration of light, color, and surface. The work of the first 20 years, characterized by luminous monochrome panels that first won the artist acclaim, here are seen in balance with the celebrated work of the last 20 years, when Marden shifted to calligraphic gestures embedded in shimmering grounds and, most recently, to heightened color.
Gary Garrels has been senior curator at UCLA’s Hammer Museum since June 2005. Before joining the Hammer, he served as the Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of the Department of Drawings and curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2000–5); the Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1993–2000); senior curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (1991–93); and director of programs at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York (1987–91). The San Francisco presentation is organized by Madeleine Grynsztejn, SFMOMA’s Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture.
The accompanying catalogue, Plane Image: A Brice Marden Retrospective, features an introduction by Garrels on the issues addressed in and the development of Marden’s work, as well as its historical significance. The publication also includes scholarly essays on the artist’s influences, materials, and processes by Richard Schiff, Effie Marie Cain Regents Chair in Art, University of Texas at Austin; Brenda Richardson, independent scholar and former deputy director and curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art; and Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, associate director of conservation and research at the Whitney Museum of American Art and founding director of the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art at Harvard University Art Museums. It additionally contains an interview with the artist Michael Duffy, paintings conservator at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. These texts are supplemented by an extensive selection of color plates, a comprehensive chronology, an exhibition history, and a bibliography, making this monograph the most complete publication to date on Marden’s career. The book is published by the Museum of Modern Art and will be available at the SFMOMA MuseumStore ($60).
Following SFMOMA’s presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (June 12–October 7, 2007).