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Agnes Martin

The critically acclaimed, indispensible illustrated monograph on Agnes Martin, published to accompany the major retrospective exhibition organized by the Tate and on view in 2016 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the GuggenheimThis groundbreaking survey provides an in-depth account of Martin's artistic career, from lesser-known early experimental works through her striped and gridded grey paintings and use of color in various formats, to a group of her final pieces that reintroduce bold forms. A selection of drawings and watercolors and Martin's own writing are also included. Edited by the exhibitions's co-curators Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell, and with essays by leading scholars that give a context for Martin's work--her life, relationship with other artists, the influence of South-Asian philosophy--alongside focused shorter pieces on particular paintings, this beautifully designed volume is the definitive publication on her oeuvre. Frances Morris places Martin's work in the art historical context of the time; art historian Richard Tobin analyzes Martin's painting "The Islands"; conservator Rachel Barker offers the reader a close viewing of "Morning"; curator Lena Fritsch provides a visual biography by comparing photographic portraits of Martin from different periods; and art historian Jacquelynn Baas delves into the spiritual and philosophical beliefs so present in Martin's art, including Platonism, Christian mysticism, Zen Buddhism and Taoism.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.
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...a strong message emerges from Martin's magnificent works, whether paintings, drawings, prints, or even sculpture: to become a serious artist requires a choice, a willful rite of passage that precedes the course one will follow.--Robert C. Morgan "Hyperallergic " [Martin's] art has a lift that makes other art, even closely related, feel earthbound.--Holland Cotter "The New York Times " Some of the more significant creations about spirituality, beauty, and painting itself that modernism has ever known... She used the grid as a forum for belief- a space where the viewer as well as the artist could contemplate the hand making the thing being observed.--Hilton Als "New York Review Of Books " Survey of Agnes Martin's powerful yet meditative work draws a straight, vibrant line to Zen.... Once you've nestled into her seemingly simple, initially inscrutable, finally profound vision of art, it's like enveloping your mind's eye in a soft, methodical, determined but exalted radiance.--Christopher Knight "Los Angeles Times " ...Linear abstract paintings that are balanced and personal, precise and hand-touched. Many are so subtle as to be barely photographable, yet they look gorgeous in the catalog (edited by Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell) for her recent Tate Modern show, "Agnes Martin," which travels to the Guggenheim Museum in October 2016.--Holland Cotter "The New York Times " This exhaustive survey of painter Agnes Martin's career shows how she spent decades modulating the basic form of a gridded or banded square to achieve a vast range of aesthetic and emotional effects, from severe to sensual.--Roger Atwood "Artnews " The paintings ask that we look, look and keep looking. They beckon us into an attitude of attention, a willingness to take time.--Nicholas Spiece "London Review of Books " Not to be missed...indispensable.--Patricia Albers "The New York Times Book Review " A near-perfect guide of breath-takingly beautiful work.--Ben Luke "Evening Standard " Martin's cool geometric abstractions are butterfly nets for emotions.--Alastair Sooke "The Telegraph " A deep, and deepening, sense of the artist's singular powers...a sort of secular pilgrimage, on which you may feel your perceptual ability to register minute differences in tone and texture steadily refined, and your heart ambushed by rushes of emotion.--The New Yorker

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