Agnes Martin's abstract works adhere to no catalogue of rules but appear instead as contemplative, intuitive signs. Her "floating abstractions," in which lines and free bands of color emerge almost imperceptibly, can be reproduced only with difficulty. Her writings, on the other hand--although certainly not intended as programmatic statements--offer valuable clarity regarding her own works and poetic insight about art in general. Since its original publication in 1991, this volume of Martin's writings has been a fundamental document for libraries of artists, collectors, and critics. Rather than identifying herself with her Minimalist peers, Martin has aligned herself with the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese, asserting that "the function of art work is . . . the renewal of memories of moments of perfection." In combination with illustrations of her works, these texts--including lectures, stories recorded by critic Ann Wilson, passages ostensibly arranged in associative sequences, and "fragmentary ideas"--form an eloquent artist's statement by the creator of "silent paintings." Edited by Dieter Schwarz. Paperback, 6 x 8 in./176 pgs / 8 color and 1 b&w.
the truth about it and accept it all and be contented. Responding with joy is the path and we should work and eat with joy. The joy counts and nothing else does. There is in reality no need for self-sacrifice and no call for it. Do not settle for the experience of others. If you follow others you are in reality at a standstill, because their experience is in the past. That .is circling. Even following yo ur own past experience, is circling. Know your own response to your own work and to the work
our function. Do not waste your feelings of discontent on society. When you feel discontented ask yourself "what do I want", "what do I really want". As soon as you ask yourself this question you will realize that discontent arises out of it. Your unwillingness to function may be so strong that you cannot even ask yourself this question, in which case you will seek help from others. But there will be no help for you anywhere. You will find your vision for yourself at some time when you are
discover the true response that you yourself make to life undistorted by the ideas of others. You will make discoveries every day and they will all be very helpful. Just as consciousness of the sublime is the path of life so is self knowledge the path of life. Neither consciousness nor self knowledge can be pursued socially. In groups we can compare our observations of life but life itself is lived by individuals. Changes in social living are the result of changes that take place in individuals.
be successful. An artist IS a person who can recognize failure. If you were a composer you would not expect everything you played to be a composition. It is the same in the graphic arts. There are many failures. Art work is the only work in the world that is unmaterialistic. All other work contributes to human welfare and comfort. You can see from this that human welfare and comfort are not the interests of the artist. He is irresponsible because his life goes in a different direction. His mind
inevitable. In your work, in the way that you do your work and in the results of your work your self is expressed. Behind and before self-expression is a developing awareness in the mind that effects the work. This developing awareness I will also call "the work". It is a most important part of the work. There is the work in our minds, the work in our hands and the work as a result. In your work, in everyone's work, in the work of the world, the work that reminds of pride is gradually abandoned.