New York

Agnes Martin

The Pace Gallery | 508 W 25th Street

Agnes Martin left here in 1967 and moved back to New Mexico. She felt that an artist could survive only ten years in New York. At that point, she also stopped painting, and both events tended over the next few years to make her something of a legend. Her work was visible and widely admired. Elkon continued to show pre-1967 paintings and drawings, and in 1973 she had a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Later that same year she exhibited a portfolio of 30 lithographs, On a Clear Day, her first new work since 1967, at The Museum of Modern Art.

At the time of the ICA exhibition, Martin traveled back here, giving a lecture at Cooper Union and again in Philadelphia. I remember the speech, but mostly I remember the quality of Martin’s presence. Her voice quivered with nervousness and conviction, and she seemed to look through the audience to a fixed point beyond

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