Visionary and idiosyncratic, Agnes Martin (1912–2004) aimed to express universal emotional states in her precise, minimalist compositions. Her earliest works used imagery to reference the real world, but in the 1960s she developed her signature grids, which appear to extend endlessly beyond the canvas.
This installation explores the ideas that shaped the artist’s work and reflects upon her friendship with collector Daniel W. Dietrich II, whose recent bequest to the Museum includes four paintings that form the centerpiece of this presentation. In addition, this installation features drawings, a sculpture, and archival materials related to Martin’s 1973 exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, which relaunched her career after a ten-year hiatus.
Agnes Martin’s works have been exhibited around the world, including at the Guggenheim Museum, New York; LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art); the Tate Modern, London; Dia:Beacon, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Among her many awards are the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale, the National Medal of Arts from the Office of the President, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art.