On View

Range

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Range

Artist: Brice Marden (American, born 1938)
Date: 1970
Medium: Beeswax and oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Overall (whole canvas): 60 1/2 × 105 in. (153.7 × 266.7 cm.)
Panel: 60 1/2 x 35 in. (153.7 x 88.9 cm.)
Credit Line: Purchased with Funds from the Coffin Fine Arts Trust; Nathan Emory Coffin Collection of the Des Moines Art Center, 1996.1
Accession number: 1996.1
Classification: painting
Copyright:ARS
Label TextBrice Marden was born in Bronxville, New York in 1938. He received a B.F.A. degree from Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts in 1961 and a M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art and Architecture in 1963. Source: News, March April 1996.
Much of the art made in the 1960s, including Minimalism and Pop Art, looked impersonal or machine-made. Brice Marden responded to this trend with paintings that incorporate the basic geometry and unadorned forms of Minimalism with expressive color, rich surface, and grandiose size – romantic traits more often associated with Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollack and Mark Rothko. Color is critical to Marden’s work. He says his paintings begin “with some vague color idea; a memory of space, a color presence, a color I think I have seen.” The color scheme and title of Range suggest the Western landscape (as a teenager he thought of joining the rodeo). The title could also suggest the range of color used in the work. Although each panel is a different color, the tone of the work is uniform. Range dates from a period in Marden’s career when he was fascinated with the various tonalities of the color gray, an idea partially influenced by the Jasper Johns’ expressive gray paintings of the late 1950s (see the Des Moines Art Center’s Tennyson). During this time, Marden painted with a mixture of oil and beeswax. The resulting skin-like surface is very fragile and slightly translucent, with subtle handmade markings. The bottom edge of the work remains unfinished intentionally to underscore the handmade process.
SignedB. Marden (verso u,l proper right panel)
InscriptionRANGE
3 Panels
Each Panel 60 1/2" x 35"
60 1/2" x 105"
1970 (verso u,l canvas each panel)
Join ← (verso canvas each panel)
Join → (verso canvas each panel)
Top ↑ (verso canvas each panel)
Exhibition History"Commitment, Community and Controversy: The Des Moines Art Center Collections," Des Moines Art Center, Jan. 24 - May 10, 1998
Published ReferencesDMAC News, Mar./Apr. 1996, p.3

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.180, color ill. p.181
entirely unexpected