For Agnes Martin to have such success in the infamous "Abstract Expressionist" boys club is pretty remarkable.
And I think this badass woman's Falling Blue is a heck of a lot more impressive than any of those canvases splattered on by that drunk Jackson Pollock. Martin's paintings consist of painstakingly drawn grids of horizontal and vertical lines. It sounds simple, but when you are standing before a huge Agnes Martin you can become mesmerized. She did everything by hand, so you can see the slight imperfections in her grids which give them a tenuous beauty.
Some people say that her rectangular compositions were inspired by her move to New York City, where all the intersecting blocks and square windows of skyscrapers led her to the crisscrossing of lines in her later work. But a more poetic interpretation also takes into account Martin’s personal life.
Martin was a closeted lesbian and found the pressures of the art world to be too hectic. Moving to New Mexico in her middle age, Martin lived an almost hermit-like existence, inspired by Zen Buddhist teachings and detached from the outside world. And I’m not talking just, like, no internet- I mean no TV, no radio, not even a newspaper! The artist said it helped her feel (and paint) tranquility. I like to think of Martin’s grids like the strict rules of a society that didn't accept her sexuality- narrow and confining. Though the general structure can’t be changed, Martin found a way to find peace in the spaces between.
182.56 cm x 182.88 cm
female artistoil and graphite on linen