Saturday, December 5, 2015

Agnes Martin Exhibition: Tate Modern London

I was fortunate to arrive in London just before the Agnes Martin Exhibiition closed at Tate Modern London last month. It was a brilliant experience to see so many pieces of her work together. Agnes’ work covered examples of her six decades of paintings and drawings. These works were varied, subtle and soothing. The work featured much of her systematic use of grids, symmetry and stripes but the subtlety of the work was entrancing. Agnes is considered one of the pre-eminent painters of abstract art of the twentieth century. Agnes was born in 1912 and lived in the United States she died in 2004. My favourite works were those made in the last few years of her life when she began to work less systematically, her brushwork was more freer and there was a little more colour added. These works reminded me in some ways of modern quiltmaking and I have noticed a number of USA quiltmakers have mentioned the influence Agnes has had on some pieces of their work. I could see that weavers also could be influenced.
The straight lines of work like “Gratitude” 2001, “I love the Whole World” 2000, “Untitled” 2002 are so inspirational. Similarly her triangle piece “untitled#1” 2003 and floating squares and bar in “Untitled”2004 were just amazing. These works were  152.4cm by 152.4cm so quite large works.
To see the photographs of her work I would refer you to the Tate publication”Agnes Martin” 2015, edited by Frances Morris and Tiffany Bell.  See photograph of cover below.

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