Agnes Martin; Pioneer, Painter, Icon.

Author:Fleischer, Jeff
Position:Brief article - Book review

Henry Martin; AGNES MARTIN; Schaffner Press (Nonfiction: Biography) 18.95 ISBN: 9781943156306

Byline: Jeff Fleischer

Agnes Martin got a late start in her art career, struggled with relationships at a time when she couldn't live openly, dealt with mental illness, and still became an important figure in the art world where her work was a bridge between abstract expressionist and minimalist styles. In Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon, Irish arts writer Henry Martin tells her story from the beginning. His is work that remains interesting regardless of the reader's familiarity with Agnes Martin and her art.

The book begins with the artist's childhood in Canada, including some of her own descriptions of its challenges. After graduating college, she began a series of lesbian relationships in which she lived with her partners, and her geographic and career moves usually aligned with those relationships. The book covers Martin's time in Taos, New Mexico, where she honed her craft before trying her hand in the New York art world.

The book also places Martin and her grid-based paintings in the...

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