I am grateful to James Kalm for giving us a private view of this Brice Marden exhibition of new work in New York. I love it. I love these beautiful, shaky, trembling, late paintings. To look at them is to unravel them, to see how they were made, and witness the hand that painted them. These paintings are of themselves, but also of everything else. They’re calligraphies written with hand-held branches, they’re a web of tree-top canopies, they’re the mycorrhizal networks in the forest floor, they’re the internet cables that connect us and separate us, that tie us together and keep us apart, they’re the vessels that run through our bodies. They’re survivors of a world that is fast disappearing, they’re reminders of why we are here. Thank you Brice.
We’d been told to stay indoors and not go out, except for exercise and if so to stay two metres apart, breathe fresh air, think separate thoughts and cast our own shadows. Stay safe, take care and not go viral. It was the sunniest Sunday I’d seen in ages, the car parks of Epping Forest were overflowing, all of us fleeing the city to escape the epidemic. That’s how it felt, as if there was protection here. Continue reading “Chasing Shadows”
Eastern Moss is a nine panel painting by Brice Marden in nine variations of terre verte (green earth) pigment. It was the first painting we met when we visited his recent exhibition at Gagosian in London.
I kept putting the same colour on – the same colour, the same colour – but every time I put it on it was different. Each time it was this whole new light/colour experience. It was not a revelation, but a whole wonderful new experience… To me, it involves harnessing some of the powers of the earth. Harnessing and communicating.Continue reading “Terre Verte”
Villa Panza is a grand 18th century mansion in the hillside suburb of Biumo Superiore, overlooking the city of Varese. It was the home of Count Giuseppe Panza, art collector and a great champion of Minimalist and Conceptual Art. He bought his first painting in 1956, by Antoni Tàpies and in 1966 he began collecting work by Brice Marden, Richard Serra and James Turrell. In 1996 the house was donated to the nation and opened to the public after major restoration work in 2000. Continue reading “Villa Panza”
This is The Rowley Gallery joiners shop in the summer of 2012, a black wooden shed perched on the flat roof of the ground floor workshop. Access is by spiral staircase and it’s where I join picture frames. It sits in the shelter of a towering tree-of-heaven, Ailanthus altissima, which in my early days here I remember as a self-sown seedling. No-one paid it too much attention, but before long I loved its dappled light in summer, and in winter I measured the sky through its mesh of branches. Continue reading “Tree Of Heaven”
We arrived at the village of Stoughton in a remote valley of the South Downs via a single track road from the north. It felt like we were coming to the back of beyond. We left the car by the Hare & Hounds and began the long slow climb along this farm track up to Stoughton Down. Continue reading “Vale Of Yew”