Sometimes when visiting art galleries, I actually prefer making quick sketches of the art rather than taking photographs. (which were not allowed)
Above, Buds 1959 oil on canvas Titze collection
right: Untitled 1958 oil paint on canvas private collection
When I sketch something, I really look at it.
I name the colours used, which makes me think why did the artist choose these?
I consider the scale, and the shape of the work.
The subtle changes that are in Agnes Martin's work are not evident if we just glance at them.
It's necessary to slow down and notice the variations of line and the multiple relationships between them.
Right: Heather 1958
The list below are some of the titles that are in the Tate exhibit (not sketched by moi):
Friendship 1963 gold leaf and gesso on canvas
The Islands 1961 oil paint and graphite on canvas
The Book 1951 oil paint and paper on canvas
Dominoes 1960 oil paint and paper on canvas
Islands no. 4 1961 oil paint on canvas
The Heavenly Race 1959 oil paint on canvas
The Garden 1958 oil paint and found objects on wood
Grass 1967 acrylic and graphite on canvas
Adventure 1967 acrylic and graphite on canvas
White Stone 1965 oil and graphite on canvas
Morning 1965 acrylic and graphite on canvas
The Rose 1965 acrylic and graphite on canvas
The Tree 1964 oil paint and pencil on canvas
Happy Holiday 1999 acrylic and graphite on canvas
Left below: Untitled 1960 oil on linen
Right: Untitled #5 1994 acrylic and graphite
In 1967 she abandoned painting for 5 years and traveled around Canada and the U.S. in a pick up truck and a camper van.
In 1973 she made a portfolio of 30 screen prints entitled On a Clear Day.
Right: I Love The Whole World 2000 acrylic and graphite on canvas
In 1974 she painted square paintings, all sized the same. (72 by 72 inches)
These were pastels (pale blue, pink, white) with vertical and horizontal stripes, thick, thin, narrow, wide.
In 1977 she made grey paintings, still 72 x 72
In 1979 she made a series of twelve white paintings entitled The Islands. She stipulated that they should always be shown together. These are in the permanent collection of the Whitney in New York, on loan to the Tate for this exhibition. I wrote about them in 2010 when they were at the Art Gallery of Ontario. (here)
Below left: Song 1962 ink and watercolour on canvas
Right: Horizons 1960 oil on canvas
She reduced the size of her paintings to 60 x 60 when she got older. Her palette included brighter and darker colours after 2000.
2001 - Gratitude (lemon yellow, willow green, white and orange
2002 - Untitled (sky blue with yellow and pale mauve)
2002 - Untitled (variety of greys)
2003 - The Sea (black with white lines)
2003 - Homage to Life (silver grey with black shape in the middle)
2003 - Untitled (large black triangles with lime green peaks, pale grey ground)
2004 - Untitled (lemon yellow, willow green)
2004 - Untitled (very painterly grey wash with white horizontal stripes)
She continued to paint through 2004, the year she died at age 92.
Above left: Summer 1964 watercolour, ink, gouache (top) and untitled 1978 watercolour,ink,
Above right: Her last drawing 2004 ink on paper, in private collection
Agnes Martin was a painter with a long life who painted every single day. She destroyed those that didn't work with a knife. Then she would repaint them.
"We have a tremendous range of abstract feelings but we don't pay any attention to them." Agnes Martin