Agnes Martin

Canada 1912 – United States of America 2004

Agnes Martin was born in Maklin, Saskatchewan, on 22 March 1912, and moved to the United States of America in 1931. She began practising art while studying during the 1940s and 1950s at Columbia University in New York, and at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. During her brief residency in Coenties Slip in New York during 1957, she met a number of important American artists, including Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly and James Rosenquist. Often described as a Minimalist due to her use of grid-like compositions made of pencil lines and faint washes of colour, she was also indebted to the work of an earlier generation of Abstract Expressionist artists, in particular Jackson Pollock. Her first solo exhibition was held in 1958 at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York. In 1967 Martin moved to New Mexico and abandoned painting for seven years. In 1992 the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, held a large retrospective of her work, which toured the United States and Spain. She has received numerous honours and awards, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1997. Martin lived and worked in Taos, New Mexico, until her death on 16 December 2004. A retrospective of her work, organised by Tate, was shown in London, Dusseldorf, Los Angeles and New York in 2015–17.

See more works by this artist in the NGA collection

Agnes Martin Untitled # 4 1977 © Agnes Martin. ARS/Copyright Agency Purchased 1977 Learn more