Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sitting with Agnes Martin in Taos

One of the songs on 'Little Bird', 'Committed Lines,' was partly inspired by the life and work of artist Agnes Martin. Martin was an internationally renowned Abstract Expressionist who lived much of her life in New Mexico, painting highly minimalist works, often based on lines and grids. She was intent upon conveying inner truth and beauty and was relentless in her pursuit. An article about her work, first read many years ago, was, personally, revelatory. Over the years, I've seen some of her paintings in museums in San Francisco and New York. I was very excited about the opportunity to see the Agnes Martin Gallery in the Harwood Museum of Art, while in Taos earlier this week. Before leaving town on Wednesday, we stopped by the museum (the Harwood had a great collection of contemporary New Mexico artists and a fine representation of Hispanic art and religious iconography as well). The 7 pieces at the Harwood were painted to be exhibited together, and a friend of Martin's constructed the wooden viewing seats, providing a serene setting and an ideal vantage from which to enjoy the paintings. Truth, beauty, yes.
"My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind." - Agnes Martin, 1912-2004

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