Agnes Martin


Tate St. Ives, Cornwall | 14 May 2011 to 25 Sep 2011


Porthmeor Beach
St Ives
TR26 1TG
United Kingdom

Opening Hours

Daily: 10:00am - 5:20pm


The Canadian-American artist Agnes Martin was among the most important painters and drawers of her generation, with her simultaneously restrained and expressive work often thought of as a bridge between the schools of abstract expressionism and minimalism that dominated painterly practice in the decades following the Second World War.

This exhibition at Tate St Ives featured late paintings in which 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.’

Find out more about Agnes Martin