Thursday, November 12, 2020

Agnes Martin Painted, She Said, “With [Her] Back to the World.”

By Kelsey Ables
“Night Sea” (1963) by Agnes Martin. Oil, crayon and gold leaf on linen. (Doris and Donald Fisher Collection at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/© Estate of Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society/Photo: Katherine Du Tiel)
Emotions these days seem to come in bulk. In the dark morning hours, they arrive with the shrill of an iPhone alarm: news alerts, emails, notifications that know no rest. They come in mass-produced, prepackaged reactions — “likes,” hearts or angry faces — that allow us to select our feelings like snacks in a vending machine. [Agnes] Martin, who died in 2004 in Taos, N.M., at age 92, was interested in sensations like the inexplicable happiness you might feel when you wake up in the morning. The artist disavowed what she called “unreal” concerns — those of politics, societal life — and worked by the whims of her inspiration. [More
Agnes Martin working in her studio in New York in May 1961 (Fritz Goro/Life Picture Collection/Getty Images)