PRINT October 1974

Brice Marden’s Painting

Anyone who saw me at work would think I was only interested in questions of form.

—Bertolt Brecht1

Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience. Unitary forms do not reduce relationships. They order them. If the predominant, hieratic nature of the unitary form functions as a constant, all those particularizing relations of scale, proportion, etc., are not thereby canceled. Rather they are bound more coherently and indivisibly together.

—Robert Morris2

IN THE SEVEN YEARS between Nebraska (1966) and the Grove Group (1973), Brice Marden established and explored a set of conditions through which to regenerate painting. For me the works that make up the Grove Group series are the first that fully realize the goal implicit in those of the preceding years: a reconciliation of the colors of landscape with a post-Johnsian insistence on the painting’s identity as a

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