Canadian-born Agnes Martin was one of the pre-eminent painters of the second half of the twentieth century, whose work has had a significant influence both on artists of her own time and for subsequent generations. A contemporary of the abstract expressionists though often identified with minimalism, Martin was of the few woman artists who came to prominence in the predominately masculine art world of the late 1950s and 1960s, and became a particularly important role model for younger women artists.
This groundbreaking survey provides an overview of Martin’s career, from lesser-known early experimental works through her striped and grided grey paintings and use of colour in various formats, to a group of her final works that reintroduce bold forms. A selection of drawings and watercolours is also included.
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, the book will appeal to art students, academics and all those interested in abstract art. Presenting new research, and beautifully designed, the book is also an opportunity to introduce the life and work of Agnes Martin to those unfamiliar with her oeuvre.
Frances Morris is Head of Collections, International Art, Tate Modern. Tiffany Bell is an independent art historian.
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