new-york

Agnes Martin

PaceWildenstein 22

It’s rare indeed to see twenty-two works by the late Agnes Martin in the same place at the same time, but a recent show at PaceWildenstein Gallery was also unusual in juxtaposing very early works with works from the last four years of her life. After moving to New York from New Mexico in 1957, Martin began to paint abstractly and rose to prominence. But in 1967, she abruptly put her practice on hold, gave away all her tools and materials, and drove out of town. Her subsequent nomadic hiatus lasted over a year, until, as she told it, she had a vision that compelled her to return to New Mexico, where she found a remote mesa and built herself an adobe structure by hand. Seven years after her departure from New York, she resumed painting and continued without interruption until her death at age ninety-two in 2004.

Like bookends of an exemplary though unusual “life of the painter,” the provocative

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