New York

Brice Marden

Gagosian | 522 West 21st Street

Though Brice Marden’s programmatic series of compositions entitled “The Grove Group” echoes the tautological artistic practices of his Minimalist progenitors, the paintings also evoke classical idealism. Executed between 1972 and 1976, the series consists of five rectangular canvases of equal size and dimension. Each work is systematically divided into one of five possible variations on a single bisected or trisected canvas. Grove Group I, 1973, consists of a single monochromatic panel, and the rest of the compositions (Grove Group II–V) are either bisected or trisected horizontally or vertically. Here Marden’s methodological approach to the structuring of paintings reads like an illustration to Polykleitos’ Canon or to Plato’s claim in the Philebus that “Measure and commensurability. . . are everywhere identifiable with beauty and excellence.” In fact, these associations are not incidental

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