Agnes Martin: her life and art

Nancy Princenthal’s book on Canadian-born Agnes Martin was quite a good read. Happiness, innocence and inspiration are words that are often used by Martin who sought harmony and composure instead of expressive, colourful work. The things I learned from Martin include: “Painting is not about ideas510nkeh3iml-_sx341_bo1204203200_ or personal emotion … the object is freedom”; trust your inner eye, not your intellect; “If a decision is required that is not inspiration you should not do anything by decision. It is simply a waste of time”; don’t engage your critics; “…a sense of disappointment and defeat is the essential state of mind for creative work” (oh joy); “There is no halfway with art. We wake up thinking about it and we go to sleep thinking about it” and, interestingly, “you will never know what abstraction is unless you ask the women” (p.252). I would like to read another book about Agnes Martin but, maybe next year. In the meantime, she will be on my mind as I endeavour to become more serene.


Author: Mary Donlan

I am a visual artist living and painting in St. Thomas, ON, Canada. This blog will be about abstract art - exhibitions I've visited, books I've read, and about my adventures with social media.

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