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.
In this interview with Kate Horsfield, Agnes Martin ruminates on painting from a Zen point of view. The conversation was shot at Martin’s adobe home, which she built herself in Cuba, New Mexico. "Inspration comes from a clear mind," she tells Horsfield. "Right straight through. We have nothing to do with it."
A historical interview originally recorded in 1976 and re-edited in 2003 with support from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund.