New York

Brice Marden

Matthew Marks Gallery

Beau Brummell recommended spending four hours dressing in order to give the impression that all had been done in four minutes. Brice Marden’s new paintings embody the same highly cultivated naturalness. The palette knife, it seems, has replaced the long brushes Marden used to create the precariously high-strung, spidery lines of his “Cold Mountain” series, 1988–91, in which nervous hesitations and sudden shifts of direction tended to divide pictorial space into quasi-cubistic facets. In his recent works, Marden has thickened and smoothed his lines, and lengthened them as well. Their ramifying and overlapping color trails—four or five per painting threading over and sometimes through watery monochrome grounds—are supple and undulant, detained by nothing.

Something of Marden’s earlier phase is still visible in Corpus, 1991–93, the earliest painting included in the show at the Matthew Marks

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