Important Australian + International Fine Art
26 August 2015


born 1938, American

suite of five etchings with aquatint

68.5 x 54.5 cm each

edition: 41/45

each signed, dated and numbered: 41/45 B.Marden 93

$50,000 - 70,000 (5)
Sold for $97,600 (inc. BP) in Auction 40 - 26 August 2015, Sydney

Niagara Galleries, Melbourne
Private collection, Queensland


Brice Marden: Prints, 1973 – 2010, Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, 8 December 2011 – 21 January 2012 (another example)

Catalogue text

'In the following 'After Botticelli' suite, seductively intertwined figures press against the frontal plane - Maenads, Muses and Venuses fathered by a vast sea of studies and paintings. Each cluster conveys a distinct linear energy. Some are poised and delicate, others vibrate like dervishes and dancers contorted in unlikely arabesques. In several prints, hatching, scratching, dots and gouges overrun the ground; the figures preside in niches against the dark tone of the contained rectangle, or pulse like a network of veins beneath the surfaces, translucent according to their length of sojourn in the acid bath.'1

It was traveling through Asia in 1983 that strongly influenced Marden's future direction. The gestural motions of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy demanded an exploration of medium and the introduction of an open linear structure. After Botticelli 1-5 was conceived shortly after Marden's solo exhibition Brice Marden: Cold Mountain at the Dia Center for the Arts, New York from 1991-1992, the debut of his newly found fluidity and gestural application.

'... drawing's an intimate medium. It's very direct, it's very close. There's less between the artist and the art. There is real closeness, direct contact. A painting is about refinement of image.'2 Etching, despite its technical complexity and physical restraint, encouraged Marden to further develop new directions in his painting - 'things have happened in the etchings that have gone back into the paintings.'3

The first retrospective exhibition of Brice Marden's paintings and drawings was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1975. In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art, New York hosted another retrospective of his works which travelled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.

1. Michelman, E., 'Review: Brice Marden: Prints, 1973-2010', Artscope Magazine, January " February 2012
2. Marden, B., quoted in Garrels, G., Plane Image: Brice Marden Retrospective, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2006, p. 122
3. Marden, B., quoted in, 'Introduction', Brice Marden: Cold Mountain, Dia Centre for the Arts, New York, 1991, viewed 22 July 2015