Happy Birthday Agnes Martin

Happy Birthday Agnes Martin

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vimeo still from Chuck Smith's film about Agnes Martin

Today is Agnes Martin’s birthday. She would have been 99 this year! And what a great excuse to connect back with my own site. I’ve been meaning to post for ages but have also been committed to actually being in my new studio and staying present with that. Which ironically was something Agnes Martin told me herself when I interviewed her way back in June 1995 when I was an art student.

“Get a studio – that’s the main thing.
And go there every day!”

I’m ever so possibly a slow listener/learner! But I’m getting better…

I wanted to share this lovely interview with Agnes, because Chuck Smith and Sono Kuwayama managed something I didn’t – to take a camera and to capture Agnes’ facial expressions as she was talking – I love watching this back – she had such a twinkle in her eye and she played with her interviewers a little – I think all the attention she received amused her somewhat. To her, it was clear as day what you need to do as an artist and also how to ‘read’ her paintings, yet here are all these people one after the other asking endless questions about it.

Agnes Martin Interview (20:00 version, 1997) from Chuck Smith on Vimeo.

She was generous and patient though in her responses. I can’t believe the questions I asked her – they seem so naive now – and if I could meet her again, I’d clearly ask different ones… but I’m so glad I met her, so glad I dared to ask any questions at all and soon I’ll be sharing them for a wider audience than just those who read my BA thesis. Becky Hunter, an art historian doing her PhD is also looking deeply at Agnes Martin’s work – we are collaborating on a piece called “Meeting Agnes Martin” for the Courthauld’s “Not for Publication” symposium on 6th May… watch this space as the research unfolds over the coming month…

Meanwhile, back to the main point of today, which is simply Happy Birthday Agnes!

Happy Birthday Agnes Martin was last modified: July 23rd, 2020 by Mi

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