Influences - Agnes Martin

Inspiration is a welcome dose of delivered insight. Thankfully, I have been gifted with the motivation to get back to work in the studio after reading the 2012  Phaidon publication of 'Ages Martin, Paintings, Writings & Remembrances' by Arne Glimcher. 

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Agnes Martin (1912-2004) was a Canadian born American Abstract Painter. Although often thought of as a minimalist, she considered herself an abstract expressionist. 

Her subtle yet evocative paintings are an attempt to reveal an interest in Eastern philosophy and reflect her concern with setting aside the personal identification with ego and intellectual ideas. Embracing a somewhat hermetic lifestyle, Martin dedicated her time looking inward to the workings of the mind. 

         Photo Credit Charles R. Rushton

       Photo Credit Charles R. Rushton

We are all called to look within at some stage in our lives, whether thrust upon us via personal tragedy or by means of devotion and joy. I read somewhere in my youthful quest for spiritual enlightenment,  that if you 'Don't go within, you go without'. This little saying bubbles up for me often when I find myself getting too caught up in the world of external matters that charge my thoughts with unnecessary disturbance. 

Martin's commitment to her practice is heroic in my eyes given the ascetic-like conditions she worked in. I'm in no rush to live a solitary life in a cave, but I am thankful for my quiet studio space to reflect on my own practice.

 Untitled 22.9cm x 22.9cm 1978

Untitled 22.9cm x 22.9cm 1978

The best things in life happen to you when you’re alone.
— Agnes Martin