Grove Group III (1973) by Brice Marden
Grove Group III (1973) by Brice Marden

Hear Brice Marden at NY Public Library next week

The celebrated American artist talks with Phaidon's Dr David Anfam and Phaidon Focus author Eileen Costello

We like to think our Phaidon Focus series offers readers a clear, understandable and enjoyable overview of an artist's career. Yet sometimes it's worth going straight to the source.

Next Tuesday, at New York Public Library, Brice Marden will discuss his creative process and sources of inspiration with our commissioning editor, Dr David Anfam, and the author of our Brice Marden Phaidon Focus book, Eileen Costello.

 

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This talk, which is free, it is a thrilling enough prospect in itself, but perhaps this engagement is all the more enticing, since many gallerygoers find Marden's work hard to understand.

Gaining early attention in the 1960s with his rich, monochromatic canvasses, Marden later introduced rubbing techniques, Chinese calligraphy and brighter colours into his work. Nevertheless, he resisted figurative representation, instead preferring to allow the expressive power of hue, space and line alone to convey emotions.

 

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"Yet," as Costello writes in our book "Marden's art requires no special knowledge. It simply invites onlookers to stretch their understanding of how a painting or drawing can speak of something in the world, sometimes through colour alone, and often in a tint or shade we did not know existed. We are challenged to recognise that shapes and forms can register meaning even when they do not look like anything even vaguely concerned with visual reality."

 

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It's a provocative argument, albeit one that is bolstered by Marden's life and work. If you agree or disagree, or really aren't sure, try to make it along to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building next Tuesday 5 November, at 6pm, to hear Marden and co thrash it out. Find out more by going here. Copies of our book will be available for purchase and signing after the talk. Or, to simply buy the accompanying book from the people who made it, go here. You can also get it as an iBook, here.