Agnes Martin - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, May 15, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    EVO Gallery, Santa Fe

  • Catalogue Essay

    "Moments of perfection are indescribable but a few things can be said about them.  At such times we are suddenly very happy and we wonder why life ever seemed troublesome.  In an instant we can see the road ahead free from all difficulties and we think that we will never lose it again.  All this and a great deal more in barely a moment, and then it is gone.  …  Perfection, of course, cannot be represented.  The slightest indication of it is eagerly grasped by observers.  The work is so far from perfection because we ourselves are so far from perfection.  The oftener we glimpse perfection or the more conscious we are in our awareness of it the farther away it seems to be.  Or perhaps I should say the more we are aware of perfection the more we realize how very far away from us it is.  That is why art work is so very hard.  It is a working through disappointments and a growing recognition of failure to the point of defeat.  But one still wakes in the morning, and there is the inspiration and one goes on."
    from D. Schwarz, ed.,  Agnes Martin: Writings–Schriften, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1991, pp 68-69

  • Artist Biography

    Agnes Martin

    American • 1912 - 2004

    As an artist defined by minimalism and abstract expressionism, Agnes Martin found serenity in her work. Commonly believed to have schizophrenia, Martin may have exercised her orderly grids and pastel colors as a way to find peace. After moving from Canada to New York City and earning her M.A. at Columbia University, she was supported by other talented artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Indiana. Martin began her career with exhibitions at Betty Parson's Gallery, and her work quickly traveled internationally from there. Eventually moving to New Mexico, the artist ended her career and cut off all social ties. Martin was represented by Pace Gallery from 1975 and was recently given a retrospective at Tate Modern in 2015.

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circa 1985
Watercolor, ink and graphite on onionskin paper. 
9 3/4 x 9 7/8 in. (24.8 x 25.1 cm).

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $140,500

Contemporary Art Part II

15 May 2009, 10am
New York