Cold Mountain Series, Zen Study 5 (Early State)

Artist and publisher Brice Marden American
Printer Jennifer Melby

Not on view

Inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Taoist philosophy, Marden began his Cold Mountain works in the mid-1980s. The series title and its forms refer to writings by the celebrated poet Han Shan, known as “Cold Mountain,” who was active in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907). In addition to alluding to calligraphy, the loose, vinelike lines of Zen Study 5 (Early State) also evoke the natural world and the work of Jackson Pollock and other mid-century gestural abstractionists. Marden dipped a stick in sugar solution and, starting with the top right corner, drew the poems—each consisting of four vertically arranged couplets of five characters—on prepared plates. Layering forms, he linked both characters and couplets and allowed dark skeins to flow across the surface, exceeding the plate’s edge.

Cold Mountain Series, Zen Study 5 (Early State), Brice Marden (American, born Bronxville, New York, 1938–2023 Tivoli, New York), Etching with sugarlift aquatint

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