The Emperor, Brushes and Brice Marden

Today (Nov 2) is the birthday of a famous artist/poet/Taoist Emperor who lost his kingdom for his love of art, luxury and culture.

Emperor Huizong was born on November 2, 1082.

Emperor Huizong Emperor Huizong digital image by Fung Lin Hall

Zhao Ji (Emperor Huizong) was an artistic emperor ruled from 1100 to 1126 AD. The cost of his ardor for the art and fatuity in government affairs was grievous: when his capital fell into Nuchen hands in 1127, he was taken prisoner, spending the rest of his life in a remote, bleak, desolate land.
(from the History of Chinese Calligraphy)

Finches and Bamboo

Partial view of Court Ladies Preparing Newly Woven Silk from the Museum of Fine art Boston.

The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics, subtitle of this book from Harvard Press.

Emperor Huizong and Late Sung Northern China
Huizong was an exceptional emperor who lived through momentous times.

Here is a western painter who continued in the Chinese tradition and is going around in a media blitz today.
Joseph Duemer really wants to see Brice Marden at MoMa for his retrospective exhibition.

The exhibition shows him as an artist who has spent his career assiduously converting the rule-ridden zone of Minimalist abstraction into a capacious yet disciplined place, pushing it toward landscape and the figure while reconnecting it to its roots in Abstract Expressionism and beyond, in non-Western art. It makes perfect sense that one of the greatest influences on Mr. Marden’s recent work has been Chinese art, where originality is a much fuzzier, more nuanced concept. His inspirations include calligraphy, landscape painting, scholars’ rocks and ceramics. (Roberta Smith from NYtimes.)

Brice Marden Brice Marden
Brice Marden and his studio

Etchings to Rexroth.

Here is a harsh but entertaining review by Finch on Marden at MoMa.

Jackson Pollock would have headed for that tree a lot earlier if he had painted like Brice.
Brice was at the MoMA opening Thursday in a black wool hat, quietly the center of attention, apparently still wondering if his paintings were any good, looking for validation.
He should have been in the studio, trying something new. And maybe in another 20 years, he will.

(Finch does not appreciate Chinese art? Like Finches and Bamboo or baboons)

Brice and Bounty paper towel

“How I wish I had never read this article about Brice Marden’s intimate relationship with Bounty paper towels.” (via culturegirl)

Let’s hear from Brice himself.

Basically I decided to be a painter because I loved the lifestyle. Later, at Yale’s graduate school, I had Jack Tworkov as a teacher who would come in and say, “that’s a cliché on De Kooning,” “that’s a cliché on Kline,” and so on. And I said, “well, how do you get rid of it?” Then the next thing you know you’re living on the Lower East Side . It just happened overnight.

His sister in law was Joan Baez.

And when I got into New York, my scene was the folk scene. It wasn’t really at Max’s Kansas City, because at that time I didn’t really know any artists yet. And that’s when Dylan was going around Joanie. (from In Conversation Brice Marden with Jeffrey Weisse.)

Brice Marden and Emperor Huizong were brought together once before, here.
(He does have a great name: Brice Marden. With a name like that he could have been a movie star and a lot luckier than the ill fated Taoist Emperor.)