Sunday, June 5, 2016

Event 2: Agnes Martin

Some days ago I went to visit LACMA museum, where Agnes Martin's exhibition was going on. Agnes Martin was an American abstract painter, who was often referred to as a minimalist. Martin always considered herself as an abstract expressionist. Born in 1912, she was a pioneer of modern art and a pivotal female figure in the male-dominated world of abstraction. Agnes Martin's visionary aesthetic and reclusive lifestyle have inspired artists and practitioners across all creative disciplines. Her work has been defined as "essay in discretion, inwardness, and silence".

Martin at her house near Cuba, New Mexico, in 1974.

In 1957, Martin joined the gallery of vanguard art dealer Betty Parsons, and she moved to lower Manhattan. She started to develop a vocabulary of simple geometric shapes - square, rectangles, circles, dots - that she often repeated across delicate earth-colored background.

Untitled 1959

During the 1960s, Martin's geometric compositions evolved into allover grids penciled onto monochromatic surfaces. When you take a close look at the grids, the multitude of thin lines have a faint and fragile appearance, which suggests the delicacy of Martin's techniques. By the end of 1960s, Martin has already established the large-scale format of six square feet and her signature style: a hand-drawn line forever in dialogue with a square canvas.

A huge square painting with very very fine and delicate hand-drawn lines forming a grid, and little white dots next to each vertex.

Martin's paintings unifies the mathematical rigor of geometric abstraction with the sensitivity and facility of the hand-drawn lines. She views her own work as a pursuit of perfection, and strives to instill every painting with "beauty, innocence, and happiness". 

Proof of attendance:

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