Tate Modern

Agnes Martin and Antony Gormley

Boiler House Level 2 East
Antony Gormley, ‘Untitled (for Francis)’ 1985
Antony Gormley, Untitled (for Francis) 1985. Tate. © Antony Gormley

Compare abstract and figurative approaches to art

Works by Agnes Martin and Antony Gormley are brought together to introduce two contrasting practices, explored in this room. Martin was one of many twentieth-century artists whose work turned away from the recognisable world and towards abstraction. Gormley’s sculpture shows how, at the same time, artists have continued to find new ways to represent the human figure.

Artists leave their mark on their work, and on the world, in very different ways. Gormley casts his own body in lead, while the pencil lines and bands of pale colour wash in Martin’s paintings are very evidently handmade. Both artists encourage the viewer to spend time looking and to find meaning beyond the external appearance of the work. Gormley sees his sculpture as a tool to link ‘inner and outer worlds’, while Martin believed strongly in the power of abstract painting to elicit experiences of beauty.

Curated by Matthew Gale


Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
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Figurative art

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Agnes Martin


Abstract art

Read the glossary term