Agnes Martin: Nuance and Variation

New York’s Guggenheim dedicates its autumn/winter exhibition to the work of pioneering American painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Filling the entirety of the gallery’s rotunda, the comprehensive showcase begins with her early experiments in the 1950s and ends with her mature oeuvre and final paintings. One of the most inclusive presentations of Martin’s artwork since her death in 2004, the display celebrates the artist as an outstanding 20th century American painter, whose diverse experimentation in the medium had a significant influence on her peers as well as future generations.

Throughout her career, which spans more than four decades, Martin explored limited compositional motifs, yet instead discovered and played upon aspects of endless nuance and variation. By 1960, she had developed her signature grid-pattern works, which often featured radical presentations of interlocking horizontal and vertical lines in pencil on large square canvases. Setting her apart was her unique ability to portray geometry that is not mechanical; instead she opted for hand-drawn arrangements of coordinates, lines, and stripes.

Whilst also associated with elements of Minimalism, the artist’s work was heavily influenced by Asian belief systems, as well as the natural surroundings of her home in New Mexico and her own expressive preferences. Co-curated by Tracey Bashkoff, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions and Tiffany Bell, Guest Curator, the exhibition investigates Martin’s transition between various key phases, each of which was informed by a wealth of cultural stimulus and personal experiences.

For more, visit

For the latest news in contemporary art and culture, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

1. Agnes Martin, White Flower, 1960, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Gift of Lenore Tawney, 1963. © 2016 Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.