To Corfu


Brice Marden ( American, 1938 )

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General Description

From the beginning of his career in the mid-1960s into the early 1980s, Brice Marden applied a mixture of oil paint and wax to simple panels of canvas, which were generally joined in groups of two or more. These paintings, like To Corfu, have at times been referred to as "minimalist," a word that can imply a certain clinical coldness or lack of sensory pleasure. Upon sustained scrutiny, however, Marden's paintings reveal their lively, lush nature; they resonate with interior light that may summon associations far outside the realm of its purely abstract form. In the four-panel To Corfu, for instance, Marden references colors associated with the land and water of a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, where he painted the work. Rather than draw topography according to the traditional landscape genre, Marden recreates the experience of being in a landscape by setting similar yet distinct planes of color next to each other. Tones of blue and green recall the natural palette of water and sky distilled in a quiet yet deliberate manner.

Adapted from

  • Charles Wylie, DMA label text, 2010.

  • Charles Wylie, "To Corfu" and "No Test," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection, ed. Suzanne Kotz (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1997), 286.