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Brice Marden: Cold Mountain

October 17, 1991–May 31, 1992, Dia Chelsea


Brice Marden has been an influential figure in American painting since the 1970s. His paintings are characterized by geometric arrangements of monochromatic panels and abstract curvilinear figures that twist in layers across the canvas. Marden’s intentional and apparent use of gesture in his compositions reinterprets and resituates a concern of Abstract Expressionism within Minimalist work.

Marden has been inspired by the interplay of light and landscape, which influences his use of muted color and irregular, undulating forms. He also cites the art and culture of Asia, specifically the process and aesthetics of calligraphy, as a primary influence in his work. Cold Mountain was Marden’s first engagement with calligraphic forms. The exhibition displayed paintings, drawings, and etchings created during the three years leading to the show. In creating this work, Marden reflected on the calligraphic structures and character themes in a collection of poetry attributed to hermetic Chinese poet Hanshan (Cold Mountain), who authored his texts during the 9th-century Tang Dynasty. Marden’s exhibition explored the contemplative experience of attuning the senses to change and permutation, exploration and process.


Brice Marden


Brice Marden was born in Bronxville, New York, in 1938. He died in Tivoli, New York, in 2023.

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Photo: Don Stahl

Brice Marden: Cold Mountain

This volume presents the complete series of works by Brice Marden, created between 1988 and 1992, in the context of its development through a series of sketchbook pages, drawings, etchings, and paintings.

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