Dimensions: 13.75 x 13.75″
Agnes Martin–untitled perfectly demonstrates Martin’s overarching concern for simplicity. The several horizontal lines that span this work displays Martin’s avoidance of intellectualism and her desire to explore the spiritual and personal. The piece resembles many of her others; the fine lines appear to be perfectly straight, but upon further observation, one can see that the lines have small imperfections, results of Martin’s technique of drawing them by hand. In creating such simple pieces composed of grids and stripes, Martin hoped to plant a positive experience, profound thought, and hopefully a bit of inspiration within the mind of the viewer. This work utilizes a little bit of color; it is a dull yellow-brown. This is extremely typical of Martin’s works, she tended to shy away from bright color, if she even used it at all.
Martin is heavily associated with New Mexico; it is where she settled for years in isolation and solitude to develop her techniques of simplicity, puristic artistic philosophies, and profound abstraction. She believed that for her art to be successful, any person who experienced it should be able to feel the same positive emotions that she felt while making the work, as well as an inspiration similar to what she experienced. Martin’s philosophies also included an in-depth exploration of the Inner Eye, meditation, and inspiration. She believed that all inspiration comes from a complete detachment from the impulses and urges of the physical world, that only when an artist completely separates themselves from distractions–which is done through meditation–can they truly begin to see profound inspiration through their Inner Eye.
Martin passed away in 2004 in Taos, New Mexico, but she lives on through her students, such as New Mexican sculptress Karen Yank, and her works, which are still celebrated globally.