Agnes Martin

About Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin (b. 1912, Saskatchewan; d. 2004, New Mexico) is among the most celebrated abstract painters of the 20th century. Martin studied Fine Arts and Arts Education at Columbia University, New York, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 1942, before returning to Columbia to complete a Master of Arts in 1952. Martin initially gained notoriety in New York in the 1960s for her meditative geometric paintings characterized by her ongoing study of line and the grid. In 1967, Martin abandoned artistic practice and left New York, eventually settling in Cuba, New Mexico. In 1973, Martin returned to art making with On a Clear Day, a suite of thirty gridded silkscreens, after which she began painting again in 1974.

Martin’s distinguished career included exhibitions at institutions across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Martin was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in 1997.

In 1998, she was awarded the College Art Association Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement, as well as the National Medal of the Arts. She was given the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts Award in 2004. Martin painted until a few months before her death in 2004.