Art: Lines That Go for a Walk

The exhilarating tracery of Brice Marden's new work affirms his pre-eminence among U.S. abstract painters

Brice Marden's "Cold Mountain" paintings of 1988-91 -- six of them, big ones, 9 ft. by 12 ft., backed up by a few dozen drawings and prints -- are now on view at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York City. This is a show and a half. How fast, how silently, the sight of a real sensibility at full stretch can cut through the visual jabber and white noise of so much of the gallery scene! On the evidence of these new works, Marden, 53, is now the finest American abstract painter of his generation.

Every artist has...

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