Agnes Martin’s subtle pencil lines and light colour washes will be welcomed this summer to London’s Tate Modern. The exhibition will display three decades of Martin’s work, from her early beginnings in New York to her escape from fame in Taos, New Mexico. Agnes Martin was born in Canada and considered herself an abstract expressionist, like her male peers Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.
Martin once remarked that ‘Without awareness of beauty, innocence and happiness, one cannot make works of art’, which suggests her reasoning for moving away from the competitive New York art scene and to seek creative comfort in New Mexico’s foreign lands. Martin believed in the power of the emotional over the physical and also believed that her most recent work of art was always her best. Somewhat controversially, Martin wished for all of her early works to be destroyed, a collection of which will be on show to the public this summer. We must feel privileged to have the opportunity to witness the growth of a successful female artist, in an arena that was monopolized by men. Women artists are gaining more and more attention in the current climate, with Georgia O’Keefe recently setting a new record for the highest female auction price for her White Flower Number One. Expect to be soothed and meditative in front of Martin’s paintings, their striped linen canvases will hold your attention with their ever so slight details.
"I often paint tranquility. If you stop thinking and rest, then a little happiness comes into your mind. At perfect rest you are comfortable."
– Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin at The Tate Modern 3rd June – 11th October 2015.