New York

Brice Marden

Bykert Gallery

While, of course, the cultural vernacular is such that the capacity to engage in a kind of illusionism that counters its own materiality is understood to come as it were naturally to paint, in particular, to paint on a flat vertical surface. The question for painting, for quite some time and in terms dictated chiefly by the work of Brice Marden and Robert Mangold, has been how to bring that innate capacity for illusionist or “optical” signification to bear on real space.

In an article on his work that was published last year in Arts Magazine (May–June, 1973) Roberta Smith noted Marden’s interest in Andre’s work, and I think it’s correct to say that a large part of what Marden has achieved has been in response to Andre’s activation of the real space above the sculpture. Marden has looked for a way to make the surface of the painting affect one’s perception of the space in front of the piece,

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