New York

Brice Marden, Elevation, 2018–19, oil on linen, 72 × 120".

Brice Marden, Elevation, 2018–19, oil on linen, 72 × 120".

Brice Marden

Gagosian | 980 Madison Avenue

Brice Marden’s recent show “It reminds me of something, and I don’t know what it is.” included a sextet of horizontal paintings (each six by ten feet), as well as five smaller but still substantially scaled studies in oil (three by five feet), and four vertical drawings on paper. (I note at the outset the works’ format because, in a very interesting way, they make an issue of it by playing their rectangularity against a contained square.)

Marden has long been fascinated by Chinese calligraphy, most evidently until now in his “Cold Mountain” series, 1989–91, which was directly inspired by the ninth-century Zen poet Hanshan. Yet the influence has never been straightforward. As he told his fellow painter Pat Steir about the “Cold Mountain” works, “I use the form of calligraphy, then it disappears, but it’s always there, in some way.” The newer pieces that were shown here are still very much

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