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Brice Marden

Red Yellow Blue

January 17–February 23, 2013
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation video

Installation video

Installation view Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Rob McKeever

Works Exhibited

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue III, 1974 Oil and wax on canvas, 74 × 72 inches (188 × 182.9 cm)© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue III, 1974

Oil and wax on canvas, 74 × 72 inches (188 × 182.9 cm)
© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue II, 1974 Oil and beeswax on fabric, 73 ¼ × 72 ½ inches (186.1 × 184.2 cm)The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Barry Lowen Collection© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue II, 1974

Oil and beeswax on fabric, 73 ¼ × 72 ½ inches (186.1 × 184.2 cm)
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Barry Lowen Collection
© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue I, 1974 Oil and wax on fabric, 74 × 72 inches (188 × 192.9 cm)Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, James S. Ely Fund, 1974© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Brice Marden, Red Yellow Blue I, 1974

Oil and wax on fabric, 74 × 72 inches (188 × 192.9 cm)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, James S. Ely Fund, 1974
© Brice Marden/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

About

I paint paintings made up of one, two, or three panels. I work from panel to panel. I will paint on one until I arrive at a color that holds that plane. I move to another panel and paint until something is holding that plane that also interestingly relates to the other panels. I work the third, searching for a color value that pulls the planes together into a plane that has aesthetic meaning.
—Brice Marden

Gagosian is pleased to present Brice Marden’s Red Yellow Blue paintings. This is the first time that all four paintings comprising the historic group have been shown together, with loans from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; and private collections in the United States. Fourth Figure (Red Yellow Blue) (1973–74), a related painting that treats the chromatic primaries as a composition of three horizontal bands, will also be on view.

Marden’s early monochromatic paintings exist as single panels, diptychs, and triptychs. Restraining the gestural intensity of Color Field painting through contemplative reserve and calm, their inscrutable surfaces belie a nuanced equilibrium between emotive passion and formal rigor.

In each of the Red Yellow Blue paintings (1974), Marden painted slabs of dense yet nuanced color on three adjoined canvas panels, using oil paint mixed on the spot with melted beeswax and turpentine and applied with a knife and spatula. The dull sheen of the encaustic medium intensifies the bold, contrasting color blocks, built up through the temperamental layering process that yielded such intricately worked surfaces. The spirited variations within each “primary” trio (where red can range from cadmium to almost black, yellow from ochre to saffron, and blue from cobalt to sullen indigo) are rich with interpretative possibility—like musical chords improvised in major and minor keys.

From the Quarterly