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Meet : Agnes Martin

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agnes_martin photo by Charles R Rushton

Agnes Martin is hardly a new artist I'm introducing ... but still I wanted to talk about her on this blog, since she is one of my most favorite painters ever. I very much remember the retrospective 1992 at the Whitney Museum in New York. I can't even recall how many hours I spent soaking in the paintings, feeling calm and happy and inspired all at the same time. My husband kept trying to understand my fascination. After all it was just mostly  horizontal lines in different configurations and ever so slightly different non colors.

agnes martin paitings

It could be my love of minimalism, my 'less is more' upbringing, the resemblance to warp and weft of my beloved textiles ... It is fascinating to me that so little can be so emotional. I figured out quite quickly that I would never ever own one of these amazing paintings, so I was thrilled when I found this website around my birthday time. I was able to take my birthday money and purchase 2 pieces which I had framed in simple wood frames.


I love looking at them every day. And even my husband has come around.  I'm curious to know what you think. Unfortunately most books about her work are out of print and quite pricey, but I was excited to see that this is coming out soon. Hope it'll make you feel calm and happy and inspired all at the same time !

Comments (7)

  • She is my all time favorite.. it shouldn't surprise me that you love her too. When I visited the MOMA a few months ago I fell in love with her all over again. And I'm so happy you pointed the way to those prints so I can have some Agnes in my home as well.

  • I keep looking at these and trying to see what you see.
    I am a word lover more than an art lover, so to me, these look like sheets of paper waiting for words.

    They look incomplete and unfinished to me, but I am intrigued at the emotional response you and the commenter before me give to this ultra minimalistic style.

  • I've also loved Agnes Martin's work for years, and was moved by the exhibit in 1992. I was just entering graduate school in ceramics, but was galvanized by her simple and powerful work. But then I also love Cy Twombly and Rothko! I'd recommend that it's necessary to be in the presence of the actual work, and not a copy in a book, before deciding whether it has any power for you.

  • I never really looked at Martin's work until I took a class on Minimalism in grad school. Before then I didn't understand the concept of Minimalism. Like a lot of people I couldn't understand how a square painted on a canvas or a block of lead was art. But the class helped me to see how the work was more than what hung in the gallery, it was also the concept and thought behind the finished piece. I came to appreciate Martin's works, her many delicate lines. Enjoy your artworks, all that matter is that they make YOU happy.

  • Martin is also one of my favorites. I feel like she and Eva Hess are usually the two female artists you see in minimalist museum collections, and I much prefer Agnes' work! It is so vast and and calm, but expressive. I am glad she had the courage to create it!

  • They show a wonderful documentary interviewing Agnes Martin and watching her paint on the SunDance channel. I have noticed on Monday's the Sundance Channel features docs on artists and they are usually really great!

  • agnes martin-all a matter of taste but no no no

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