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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Brice Marden, American (Bronxville, New York 1938 - 2023 Tivoli, New York )
Untitled (Work Book Drawing, Page 10)
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Dark brown ink on white wove paper
28 x 22.2 cm (11 x 8 3/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black ink, center bottom edge: B. Marden 83.4
  • inscription: verso, u.r., graphite, in artist's hand: BM 23, 10
  • inscription: verso, u.l. corner, running from top to bottom, graphite, in artist's hand: XXI, 2
  • inscription: verso, l.l., graphite, in artist's hand: 23-10
  • inscription: verso, center bottom edge, graphite, in artist's hand: 10


Recorded Ownership History
Brice Marden, New York, New York, 1983, partial sale, partial gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 2001, through [Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, New York].

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of the artist and purchase from the Margaret Fisher Fund and through the generosity of The Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation, John F. Cogan, Jr., Donald and Doris Fisher, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, and Irving and Charlotte Rabb in honor of Neil and Angelica Rudenstine
© Brice Marden / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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In 1972, Brice Marden began to replace his conventional drawing tools with twigs that he picked from an ailanthus tree near his house. In drawing with twigs, some as much as two feet long, Marden distanced himself not just literally from the image but also from the mundane and routine virtuoso concerns of traditional draftsmanship. He found the quasi-calligraphic process curiously meditative and spiritual, a means not only to explore a long-standing interest in gesture and touch, but also a means to connect more closely with nature: "I am seeing my life as part of the struggle between man and nature. I know there is the possibility of some sort of union. This is why I have been forced to take nature as my inspiration." [1] Much of the exploration of his relationship to nature has taken place in a remarkable series of Work Books, in which Marden creates whole sequences of drawings. Sometimes the drawings are made in rapid succession, one after another, other times they are created over a period of years such that the individual drawings are independent, although not isolated, from one another.

1: As quoted in Harry Cooper, "Brice Marden: Work Books," gallery handout, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1998), n.p.

Publication History

  • Dieter Schwarz and Michael Semff, Brice Marden: Work Books 1964-1995, exh. cat., Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München (Munich, Germany, 1997), cat. no. 25, p. 223, repr. p. 167 (color)
  • Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 2000-2001 (Cambridge, MA, 2002), repr. p. 11

Exhibition History

  • Brice Marden: Work Books 1964-1995, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, 09/26/1997 - 11/23/1997; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, 01/31/1998 - 04/02/1998; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/18/1998 - 09/27/1998
  • Acquisitions in Honor of Neil and Angelica Rudenstine, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/04/2001 - 05/06/2001
  • Under Cover: Artists' Sketchbooks, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/2006 - 10/22/2006

Verification Level

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