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15 May 2010 – 11 July 2010
Photograph of Agnes Martin by Charles R. Rushton

"My interest is in experience that is wordless and silent, and in the fact that this experience can be expressed for me in art which is also wordless and silent."

— Agnes Martin

Without objects or forms, Agnes Martin suggested we approach her paintings ‘as you would cross an empty beach to look at the ocean.’ Often linked to Minimalism, she maintained that her paintings are concerned with the inner emotional world – our search for a perfection which is impossible to achieve – and the desire for contentment and serenity.

The paintings in this exhibition are from her later years when bands of ethereal colour combined with the irregularities of hand-drawn grids. ‘The paintings are very far from perfect – completely removed in fact – even as we ourselves are.’

Born in Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) lived most of her life in the United States and became one of the foremost American artists of her generation. At the centre of this exhibition are ten canvases made between 1991-2002 when she lived in the New Mexico desert.

ARTIST ROOMS was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS is being shared with galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of independent charity, The Art Fund and, within Scotland, The Scottish Government.

We are also grateful for the collaboration of PaceWildenstein, New York.