Originally from Canada, Agnes Martin (1912-2004) moved to the U.S. in 1931. Martin lived in Taos, New Mexico from 1954 to 1957, and then moved to New York, where she established her name as an important minimalist painter. Her work differed conceptually from the minimalist movement in that it was anti-intellectual and intensely spiritual, and her grids represented meditative reflections on Taoism. For years, Martin worked only in black, white, and (occasionally) brown. Her devotees consider her a visionary — an artist possessed of perceptive powers that have transformed her style into a heightened visual experience. Martin returned to New Mexico in 1967 where she lived and worked throughout her life.
"To be an artist, you look, you perceive, you recognize what is going through your mind, and that is not ideas. Everything you feel, everything you see, your whole life goes through your mind. You have to go with it and feel it and get in the right condition and get free of the mundane," the artist tells Kate Horsfield in this interview.
A historical interview originally recorded in 1974 in Cuba, New Mexico and re-edited in 2003 with support from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund.