This week’s Image of the Week comes from Agnes Martin whose major retrospective, her first since 1994, is currently in its final few months at Tate Modern

Untitled #1 2003 by Agnes Martin. Photographs courtesy of the Estate of Agnes Martin/Tate Modern

Untitled #1 2003 by Agnes Martin. Photographs courtesy of the Estate of Agnes Martin/Tate Modern

Martin was a fixture on the New York art scene in the 1960’s and considered her work to fit into the male-dominated Abstract Expressionist movement. Starkly different from the chaotic explosions of Pollock, Martin’s work with its subtle colours, washes and lines, is more akin to the work of Rothko or Barnett Newman. There is a formalist control and muted emotional pull to much of her work which seems to glow from the canvas in flag-like colour and shade blocks. This particular work is slightly more suggestively graphic in its style, the suspended twin black peaks tipped with Crayola yellow – mountains at night capped with urine-soaked snow.

Originally from Canada, Martin had gone on to study in New York and New Mexico before settling in Manhattan where she began to exhibit more regularly and gain critical acclaim. In 1967, however, like many artists before her she decided to abandon New York in search for a quieter and more productive life in New Mexico. She built herself an adobe house in Cuba, a small and rather remote town and lived there until her death at the age of 92 in 2004.

You can watch a short film of Martin speaking about her work on the Tate Modern website here

Agnes Martin runs at Tate Modern until 11 October. £10.90 (£9.50 conc)

Posted
AuthorSacha Waldron