April 4–June 1, 2019
“I paint nature.”
Gagosian is pleased to present Morocco, an exhibition by Brice Marden, traveling from the Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech, Morocco.
Nearly forty years ago, Marden visited Morocco for the first time, setting into motion a new line of artistic inquiry inspired by the intricate architecture and late afternoon light of the “Rose City.” This exhibition includes more than sixty works on paper, forty-eight of which were once contained in a workbook that accompanied the artist over the past decade. In the majority of the works, a square or rectangle is set within the white of the page, with winding lines and loose blots rendered in colored ink or gouache forming tangled grids of varying densities. Infinitely fluid, Marden’s gestures in yellow, red, and blue oscillate between foreground and background, light and darkness.
The cornerstone of the exhibition is Helen’s Moroccan Painting (1980), a large-scale canvas titled for Marden’s wife, also a painter. The canvas is divided horizontally into two rectangles—green on top (evoking Morocco’s valleys) and burnt sienna below (recalling the red earth)—both applied in thick encaustic and inspired by Marden’s memory of the landscape during a drive from Ouarzazate in 1978. An untitled work from 2018 swaps these colors, so that a narrower band of green appears at the bottom of the composition and the rest is deep red. What sets the two works apart most, however, is the vibrating veil of multicolored lines that seems to float at the surface of the picture plane in the latter painting.
Into the Trees
April 11–June 1, 2019
Opening reception: Thursday, April 11, 6–8pm
“Nature is my master. Without its guidance, how could I paint or work? My Swiss garden is surrounded by forests and mountains. I look closely; Nature shows me.”
Gagosian is pleased to present Into the Trees, terra-cotta and enameled ceramics by Setsuko. This is her first exhibition with the gallery.
Working across many mediums, from bronze to gouache, Setsuko combines sumptuous surfaces with tranquil subject matter, often suggesting an optimistic interconnectedness between natural and constructed elements, as well as a symbiosis between life and death.
Blending imagery from East and West, Setsuko’s paintings demonstrate a keen sensitivity to texture, from the fur of a cat to the silken petals of a flower. This attention to diverse surface qualities led her to ceramics and the infinite malleability and expressiveness of clay.
The works included in Into the Trees were made in Setsuko’s studio at the Astier de Villatte workshop in Paris. The ongoing artistic collaboration stems from the relationship between the artist and Benoît Astier de Villatte, who, as a child, lived with his parents at the French Academy in Rome, Villa Medici, where Setsuko’s husband, Balthazar Klossowski de Rola (Balthus), served as director from 1961 to 1977.
Setsuko’s terra-cotta works evince a deep familiarity with the natural world. Hollow tree trunks and branches—either glazed with milky white enamel or left in earthy brown—reveal their own life cycles, the fragmented, gnarled forms suggesting long histories of environmental change. Yet, in many cases, these worn, warped remains support new life, with fresh young leaves and berries, and poised birds announcing revival and vigor. Setsuko’s mark making responds to this fomenting energy, balancing expressive gashes and broad, shallow channels with meticulous, delicately wrought detail. In some cases the liberal application of white enamel amplifies these varying textures.