Late Briarcliff Alum Provides Inspiration for Art Students

Few artists can consider themselves as lucky as the late world-renowned artist, Brice Marden, who achieved fame and success in his twenties.

A graduate of Briarcliff High School, Marden boasted many exhibits, including a 2006 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.

As an homage to his passing this summer, Briarcliff High School art teacher Roxanne Ritacco created a project for her students in her oil painting class, which involved painting artwork inspired by his style.

In the 1980s, Marden began painting in a new way, after visiting Asia for the first time. After seeing an exhibition of Japanese calligraphy, he developed a style inspired by Chinese calligraphy and Zen poetry.

According to his obituary in the New York Times, his new approach, “seemed to wed Asian influences with the linear work of artists like Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock.”

“I am doing a project with students that is based on spontaneity, where students dip wooden sticks into ink to make marks in Mr. Marden’s style,” Ms. Ritacco said.

“By painting in this manner, students are using a whole different part of the brain – they intuitively move their hand. Allowing the tools to do the work intuitively is a big part of being an artist. In oil painting, we use the brush in a variety of ways, among them is the beauty we find in instinctive, spontaneous marks.”



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