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Artnews
March 14, 1970
Reviews and Previews: Brice Marden, Robert Duran
Carter Ratcliff

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Brice Marden, Robert Duran (Bykert) showed new works. Marden’s drawings are all black with an incised grid; his paintings are neutral monotones. In both mediums, Marden applies heavy physical pressure to the surface. In the drawings, this causes the paper to warp or wave slightly; in the paintings, it gives the sense that the support is pushing outward through the paint. Marden’s method is exaggerated—one could say hyperbolic—with the result that it clarifies action. Duran showed high-keyed canvases pierced by simple shapes; the effect is of an engaging diagram. The voids created by leaving the canvas blank are filled in with brushwork and staining; this creates positive versions of the voids. The two versions don’t match exactly and so the contrasting colors blur into each other causing complexities in the relations of shape to field. In later works, dark hues are substituted for lighter ones in the field; the results, however, are not muffled; Duran’s sharp value contrasts manage to turn near-blacks into subtle hues.

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