Brice Marden
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

Brice Marden 1986
  • Artist Rooms
The American artist, Brice Marden, emerged in the 1960s as a painter of flat monochrome works. In the 1980s, however, influenced by Far Eastern calligraphy and poetry, he had turned to a freer, gestural type of painting, of the sort that can be seen behind him in this photograph. The frontality and symmetry of Marden’s pose provide a strong structural centre in the image, set against the expressive, free flow of the painting behind him which continues on to his shirt. This contrasts with the earlier portrait of Marden by Mapplethorpe in 1976, which imitated Marden’s carefully balanced minimal paintings of the time in a more sparse composition.

Glossary Open


Decorative handwriting


The arrangement of different elements in a work of art.

Gestural Painting

Gestural painting reflects the physical movement that it took to make each mark.


An image made with a single colour.

Calligraphy, Composition, Gestural Painting, Monochrome


  • Acc. No. AR00146
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 47.60 x 47.10 cm (framed: 61.00 x 50.80 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008