Beyeler Collection / Nature + Abstraction, installation view at Fondation Beyeler. Artworks © Brice Marden. Courtesy Daros Collection.

Beyeler Collection / Nature + Abstraction, with works by Brice Marden from the Daros Collection, at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland.

On view May 20 through August 12, 2018.


Nature and abstraction have long been a couple in art. This year’s second collection presentation shows how differently artists explore this twosome. From Claude Monet to Roni Horn, from Piet Mondrian to Barnett Newman, or from Gerhard Richter to Tacita Dean–for all of them, investigating nature and its varied perception plays a major role. While moving from one room to the next, we notice that Nature and Abstraction might just as well be called Clouds and Surface or Color and Light.

The works by Brice Marden (b. 1938) shown in this room are on loan from the Daros Collection, Zurich. The exceptionally clear and seemingly simple paintings by American artist Brice Marden are deeply influenced by his personal interests and fascination with nature, light, and colour. The artist once remarked: "I believe there are highly emotional paintings not to be admired for any technical or intellectual reason but to be felt." The images exhibited here demonstrate in an exemplary manner the subtle development of Marden’s work from the late 1960s to the present. From his reductive early pictures dominated by grey tones—including the painting Long Gulf (1971), which reflects the artist’s view of the horizon of the Gulf of Mexico—his artistic path leads to newer, poetic works and exploration of freer forms, as in The Muses (1991–93), as well as his most recently produced painting, Winsor + Newton, from 2016–17.

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