For decades, Agnes Martin painted what at first glance appears to be the same thing over and over again, the same structure subject to infinitely subtle variations. Her restrained, reserved, exquisite paintings, which often include a grid – a set of horizontal and vertical lines drawn meticulously that sometimes reminisce Mondrian, are not meant to communicate material existence, the earth and its myriad forms, but to evoke the abstract glories of being: joy, beauty, innocence, happiness itself. Martin’s way of life as an artist mystic who disappeared into the desert in order to pursue and preserve her visions of a visionary art is not only inspirational but also introduces a new perspective to look at abstract art. Her being diagnosed with schizophrenia makes it very tempting to interpret her works in relation to the turbulences of her personal experience. Nevertheless, Martin insists that her paintings do not embrace ideas, and certainly not personal emotions or biographical elements. The paintings, as she perceives, are there purely for the sublime responses they engendered in the viewer. As such, Martin’s art in particular and abstract art in general emphasize on both the universality and the individuality of experience, which are clearly not only reserved for the wealthy or intellectual few. After all, the art market must have its reasons to bring prominence to modern abstract art; economic concern, without doubt, but also artistic reason for sure.
Source : #TheGuardian
Picture: Agnes Martin at her house near Cuba, New Mexico, in 1974. Photograph by Gianfranco Gorgon