Agnes Martin Happy Holiday 1999 © Estate of Agnes Martin


Born 1912
Died 2004
Nationality American
Birth place Macklin
Death place Taos

Agnes Martin was born in Canada but moved to the United States in 1932, becoming an American citizen in 1950. Her paintings were representational until the mid-1950s. By 1964, she had fully developed her characteristic style of canvases covered with a grid structure. In a manner similar to that employed by Mondrian as well as by contemporary minimalist artists, Martin's use of grids asserts the flatness of the picture plane and suggests a meditative spirituality. Her work avoids personal and biographical references as well as influences from nature. Martin has also written extensively on art.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


An art movement of the 1960s onwards, primarily in sculpture. It was in part a reaction against the flamboyance of Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism. It is characterised by a lack of expressiveness and the use of simple forms, often in repetition.

Abstract Art

Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used from the twentieth century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.