This display of late paintings by Agnes Martin will form part of Tate St Ives’s summer exhibition.
The American abstract painter Agnes Martin is acclaimed for her use of painting and drawing. In her late compositions, signature horizontal bands are made with pure colour watered down to create ethereal washes, often applied with a tactile, painterly handling.
During the 1990s, after years of leaving works untitled, Martin began to choose titles such as Happy Holiday and Faraway Love, suggesting universal memories of past happiness and ideals of contentment.
Although Martin’s works are in no way representational and the artist always insisted they held no references to landscape, she was inspired by Chinese Tao philosophy and the vast deserts of New Mexico where she resided for most of her life. ‘I want people, when they look at my paintings,’ she noted in 1993, ‘to have the same feelings they experience when they look at landscape … But it’s really about the feeling of beauty and freedom.’
Tate St Ives
Image: Agnes Martin, Happy Holiday (1999)
© 2009 Agnes Martin / DACS