Think of Them as Spaces Brice Marden's Drawings Kelly Montana, Josef Helfenstein, Brice Marden

Menil Drawing Institute Series
Publication date:
18 Feb 2020
The Menil Collection
128 pages: 241 x 190mm
112 color illus.
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An exploration of Brice Marden’s draftsmanship and the catalytic role the medium of drawing plays in his larger oeuvre

In 1979, Brice Marden (b. 1938) asked that his drawings be thought of “as spaces,” reflecting the idea that drawing is a medium that is much more than its two physical dimensions. Looking closely at six series of drawings that span nearly the entirety of Marden’s ongoing career, this luxuriously illustrated presentation features works spanning from 1975 to 2019, including the never-before-published Letters from Borobudur of 2010. In addition to rarely seen early monochrome works, three groups of 1979–80s drawings—Mirabelle Addenda, Shell, and Cold Mountain Studies—foreshadow the artist’s mature linear work and highlight the process of invention and permutation that occurs as Marden thinks and draws on paper. A concise overview of Marden’s drawing practice investigates the geographies and methods that inform his work, while an artist interview offers insight into how Marden uses the medium as a means of exploring the creation of spaces on drawing surfaces.

Kelly Montana is assistant curator at the Menil Drawing Institute. Josef Helfenstein is director at the Kunstmuseum Basel.

Menil Drawing Institute, the Menil Collection, Houston
(February 21–October 11, 2020)