Fabrik - Issue 32

Page 91

ART ABOUT TOWN

Agnes Martin | Summer, 1964. Watercolor, ink, and gouache on paper, 9 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches. Collection Patricia L Lewy Gidwitz © 2016 Agnes Martin/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo Courtesy Pace Gallery.

repeated devices that dot the exhibition—serves as a focus for contemplation, like the highly simplified tantric drawings used for meditation in Eastern practices. The retrospective, going back as far as the early 1950s, consistently portrays Martin’s as a gentle, diffident, even fragile sensibility. Her early abstract canvases may be relatively large and marked with fluid, complex, interlocking shapes, but their muted color and soft edges, entirely free of physical gesture, contradict the aesthetic of abstract expressionism to which they respond. By the end of the decade Martin had gravitated to the reductive, repetitive approach that would define her work for the next half-century.

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