Agnes Martin | Painting, Writings, Remembrances
The only complete career retrospective of this visionary painter, including all her most iconic works, which are prized for their exquisite visual poetry, together with personal letters and facsimiles, reprinted in Martin’s own hand, adding intimacy to this classic book
Agnes Martin’s career spanned over seven decades, with a profile that has skyrocketed since the 2015-17 major exhibition at Tate Modern, London that travelled globally to great acclaim. Though a major influence on Minimalist painters, Martin saw her own work more closely related to Abstract Expressionism, her paintings being ‘meditations on innocence, beauty, happiness and love.’ This much-anticipated reissue of Martin’s exhibition manager and close friend Arne Glimcher’s highly-acclaimed book presents 130 of her paintings and drawings alongside her previously unpublished writings and lecture notes. Glimcher’s illuminating introduction, his personal memories of visits to Martin at her studio, and their correspondence throughout her career, reveal many insights into the artist’s life and work.
Agnes Martin was born in Maklin, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1912, and moved to the US in 1932, studying at universities in Oregon, California, New Mexico and New York. She painted still lifes and portraits until the early 1950s, when she developed an abstract biomorphic style influenced by Abstract Expressionism. Her first one-woman exhibition was held at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, in 1958. Partly through close friendships with artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Ad Reinhardt, Martin began to experiment with symmetrical compositions of rectangles or circles within a square, then from around 1960–61 to work with grids of delicate horizontal and vertical lines. She left New York in 1967, shortly after the death of Reinhardt, and moved to New Mexico, where she lived until her death in 2004.