View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
P07851 [from] Tiles 1979 [P07849-P07852; complete]
Four etchings with aquatint each approx. 8 × 8 (203 × 203) on Somerset paper 29 3/4 × 22 3/8 (755 × 568), printed by Stephen Thomas at Crown Point Press, Oakland, California and published by Parasol Press, New York
Each inscribed ‘B Marden 79’ b.r. and ‘15/50’; impressed with the printer's and publisher's stamp
Purchased from Parasol Press (Grant-in-Aid) 1983
‘Tiles’ is a portfolio of prints from a series of drawings and etchings in which Marden was working out ideas for the design of ceramic tiles which, ultimately, were not made. Unlike earlier works, which are more minimal and explore the formal characteristics of the series, ‘Tiles’ is an expressive series in which the grid and the notion of serial progression are both exploited and subverted. They are subverted by the broad manner in which the rosin is applied in the aquatint process and by the general air of improvisation with which the prints are endowed by the foul biting in the central black areas. The use of large blotches of ink and the accidental (but ultimately desired) appearance of foul biting reveal that Marden's interests are not strictly speaking minimal but are more expressive. Since 1972 his work has reflected his interest in landscape and classical Greek architecture and manifests a reaction ‘against what have become the excesses of Minimal painting’ (‘Brice Marden Interviewed by Robin White’, View, III, June 1980). The grid is used not only to limit and define the two dimensional surface but is also employed to create an architectonic space.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986