Agnes Martin at the Guggenheim

A major retrospective on the work of American painter Agnes Martin(1912-2004) can now be experienced at the Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side. Agnes Martin was a prolific artist that developed a serene visual language of grids and stripes throughout her career. Frank Lloyd Wright’s beautiful museum guides you along a chronological journey of Martin’s lifelong fascination with abstraction. The entire rotunda is filled with paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that celebrate Agnes Martin as one of the prominent female artists of her time.

Guggenheim Oculus. Photo: David A Palmieri
Guggenheim Rotunda. Photo: David A Palmieri

Each piece by Agnes portrays a strong commitment to the beauty of deviation found in line, color, tone and surface. Everything she created was governed by thoughtful, clearly articulated proportions. Agnes was never calculated though, she never saw art as an intellectual exercise. She regularly practiced emptying her mind to allow for inspiration to enter naturally. Her work reinforced her belief in the transformative capacity of art in human life.

“I want to draw a certain response. . . . Not a specific response but that quality of response from people when they leave themselves behind, often experienced in nature, an experience of simple joy.” -Agnes Martin

For Agnes Martin, the goal is always happiness – to create “abstract emotions” such as love, joy, beauty and freedom. Visit the Guggenheim and experience it for yourself.

PS. Dont miss out on the 18-karat gold toilet designed by Maurizio Cattelan. It resides two thirds the way up the rotunda in a small bathroom. The golden throne is said to be valued at several million dollars.

Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri
Photo: David A Palmieri

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