Agnes Martin was an American-Canadian painter known for her pared-down geometric abstractions. In pale swathes of colour lined with pencil, Martin’s art emerged out of the ethos of Abstract Expressionism while preceding Minimalism’s sparse intensity.
Martin’s mastery of line and grid was a great source of inspiration to artists like Eva Hesse and Ellen Gallagher, and her work is often discussed alongside Sol LeWitt’s famed wall drawings. The square is integral to Martin’s work, both as the shape of her canvases and as an enduring motif, influenced by the Taoist pursuit of balance and harmony. “My paintings are not about what is seen,” she said. “They are about what is known forever in the mind.”
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