Saturday, May 30, 2009

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin - With My Back to the World

I saw a very interesting documentary last night on the Sundance Channel. It was about the art and life of Agnes Martin, an artist I had not heard of before. She describes her work as abstract expressionist, although her art is often associated with minimalism. As the movie progressed, I became more and more fascinated by her somewhat mystical approach to her art. Abstract art is fairly difficult for me to connect with, but listening to her speak of what she was trying to express through the grids and horizontal lines that predominant her paintings I traveled to a deeper connection to what art, even my own, could express. Perhaps this is the path to "true" art.

Peace & Happiness by Agnes Martin

Her description of her work that I found most intriguing was the idea that so, so many painters were painting about painting, and she wanted her art to be about life. This is the primary reason for the abstract, minimal approach to her work. In this way there is nothing between the idea and the art. She waits... and waits.... for inspiration on how she can express whatever concept/trait she would like to express and how that can be done through the use of lines, grids, color fields. It is only when she has been visually inspired that she starts painting. Very fascinating. I think I'll look into whether the Philadelphia Art Museum has any of her work on display.