PRINT Summer 1987


AGNES MARTIN'S CHARACTERISTIC ART began to appear at a moment when the tradition of the abstract sublime, while still alive in the canvases of Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and others, was on the verge of giving way to Minimalism. Her works since then are almost always square—the paintings typically 6 feet by 6, the drawings typically 9 inches by 9. In her art of the period 1960–67 most of the works are made up of lines and grids, but one can find examples of slightly different formats—triangles or circles floating in rows and columns parallel to the edges of the support. Sometimes the rectangles of the grid aren’t empty, for example they may contain a dot made by the head of a nail that has been driven through the surface, but usually the rectangles coalescing into an allover grid are empty, like graph paper before anything has been drawn on it. In the early ’60s the grounds on which the

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