New York

Brice Marden

Dia Center for the Arts

However different they seem, Brice Marden’s new “Cold Mountain,” 1988–91, and old Minimalist paintings are much the same in principle. There is the same stylized flatness (de rigueur in Modernist painting) and the same cautious use of color. (The “Cold Mountain” paintings are grayish, with ghostly touches of yellow and blue.) There is also the same repetitive, serial quality, as though the artist were addicted to and certifying a particular form. The difference—the use of calligraphic gesture—is not entirely new. It first appeared in Marden’s oeuvre, in somewhat more vigorous, aggressive form, in the mid ’80s, sometimes in excited contradistinction to a grid. The gestures themselves often locked together in a kind of distorted, weblike grid or filigree, as in the current paintings. Like all of his work, the new pieces show respect for the edge or frame—their self-containment.

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