American Artist Agnes Martin was born in Canada on March 22,1912 and was one of four children. She received her American citizenship in 1950 and studied at Western Washington University College of Education in Bellingham, Washington prior to receiving her Bachelor of Arts. She received her B.A. at Teachers College, Columbia University and in 1952, she received her Masters of Arts at Columbia University. Martin is associated with both the Minimalist and Abstract Expressionist movement and was known for having schizophrenia. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1998, the Golden Lion for Contribution to Contemporary Arts at the Venice Biennale in 1997, and the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Womens’ Caucus for Art of the College Art Association in 2005 along with many other awards.
Agnes Martin has had over 85 solo shows and several retrospectives including “Agnes Martin” organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art and “Agnes Martin: Paintings and Drawings 1874-1900” organized by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. In 2015, the Tate Modern oversaw a retrospective of Martin’s life and career from the 1950s to 2004. Martin participated in the Venice Biennale (1976, 1980, and 1997), the Whitney Biennale (1977, 1995), and Documenta, Kassel, Germany (1972). Her work is exhibited at several museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.. Martin strove for beauty in her work in negative and blank spaces, fully believing that beauty can be found anywhere. This inherent beauty can be found and fully appreciated in the subtleties and reduced forms of her work. Martin’s paintings fully embrace abstract depictions of ardent emotions with a sense of discipline and restrain. This control contributes to a suppression that exemplifies these impressions rather than mask them—marking Agnes Martin as one of the most prominent figures of American Abstract Expressionism.
Courtesy of the Artist
More to read