The World of Agnes Martin (1912 - 2004)

Standing in front of Martin's work was like being in a profound meditative state of mind.

The sixty year retrospective at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum challenged me and every single human standing with me to look through the layers of meaning she ingrained into each canvas and flip those feelings and experiences inward. The result: a quiet and serene peace of mind. 

"Abstract emotions", she said, - feelings of happiness, love, and experiences of freedom, beauty and perfection are the only true subjects of art. 

  Agnes Martin, This Rain, 1958

Agnes Martin, This Rain, 1958

The experience felt liberating to say the least.  Her lines, which are representative of her technique and present throughout her work reveal, at a closer look, the "mistakes" of the human hand.  Her dedication to her practice (imaging drawing infinite number of lines in every piece of work you do) while aspiring towards perfection was the most valuable lesson I took away from this retrospective.  

These lines give the painting life.  They make you come closer, check their reality, and accept their beautiful purpose. "Not only in artwork but in life itself, we wait in readiness and with patience for the next step in awareness of truth, of reality," she once said. "The revelation of truth is the process of life."

 Agnes Martin with level and ladder, 1960

Agnes Martin with level and ladder, 1960