Agnes Martin
Year, Birthplace 1912, Canada
Year, Place of death 2004
Nationality United States
American painter and writer, born in Maklin, Canada. In 1932, she moved to the United States and, between 1941 and 1954, studied Art History at Columbia University in New York City, where she majored in Fine Arts and Arts Education. Martin spent her first summer in New Mexico in Taos, in 1947, as a student at the University of New Mexico's summer school. In Taos, she met other modernist artist. She remained primarily in New Mexico until 1957, spending time in Taos and Albuquerque (where she was teaching at the University of New Mexico), as well as New York. Influenced by an early Abstract Expressionism, Agnes Martin made biomorphic Surrealist paintings. Around 1957, she met artists like Kelly, Indiana, Jack Youngerman and Rosenquist who influenced her work, namely in the adoption of square structures for her painting. In 1958, she held a one-woman show at the Betty Parson Gallery in New York and, in 1967, she moved to Cuba, New Mexico, where she turned mostly to writing. In 1973-74, she travelled to Germany, where she had exhibitions at the Kunstraum München, the Kunsthalle Tübingen and the Kaiser Wilhelm Museum in Krefeld. In 1972 and 1977, she participated in documenta 5 and 6 in Kassel. In 1989, she was elected to the American Academy and to the Institute of Art and Literature and, in 1991, she received the Javlensky Prize awarded by the town of Wiesbaden. In the seventies, her light paintings with stripes done on canvas or transparent plastic, anticipated what was to be called fundamental painting. In 1992, the Whitney Museum of American Art held a retrospective exhibition of her work, and in 1997 she was awarded the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale.