Brice Marden recommends Three Paintings
Stendhal Syndrome? Brice Marden has the cure.
Piet Mondrian, 1943
The Museum of Modern Art
Fifth Floor, Gallery 10
Saint Francis in the Desert
Giovanni Bellini, c. 1480
The Frick Collection
May I present a walk comprised of paintings, which, at points in my life, were destinations of sustenance and in which I identified various New York City aspects.
Go straight to the mentioned paintings, and try not to be distracted by the other beauties calling for attention. Keep the enterprise clean.
At the Museum of Modern Art, go to Piet Mondrian's great Broadway Boogie Woogie, painted in homage to his adopted city in reverence for its ongoing energies, movements, sounds, rhythms, and intensities. Give the painting at least five minutes of concentration. Leave.
Go to the Frick Collection and straight to its Bellini, Saint Francis in the Desert. New York City is a teeming place (remember Boogie Woogie), but it is made up of millions of pure individuals. Here is Saint Francis, surrounded by beings, a golden light, his town, but he is alone in communion with an energy directed only to him (see the wind in the olive tree) in an otherwise still environment. He is alone, inspired, and fully conscious of his greater self.
It's on up to the Met for a visit with Diego Velázquez's Juan de Pareja. Stand in awe of Velázquez's total mastery of the illusion achieved through the workings of the eye, the hand, and the paint. Be reminded by Pareja, an obviously proud man of color, of our own city's ethnic diversity and how much that adds to our power and beauty.