Agnes Martin



Agnes Martin 1912–2004
Acrylic paint and graphite on canvas
Support: 1826 × 1819 mm
frame: 1840 × 1832 × 43 mm
vitrine : 2075 × 2070 × 90 mm
Purchased 1974

Display caption

Describing Morning, Martin said: ‘I had to leave out a lot of things that one expects to see in a painting... I was painting about happiness and bliss and they are very simple states of mind I guess. Morning is a wonderful dawn, soft and fresh.’ She began making delicate hand-drawn grids in 1960. Here the grid is made from dark graphite and subtle red pencil lines, on a painted background. By doing this, Martin blurred the boundaries between painting and drawing.

Gallery label, February 2020

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Catalogue entry

Agnes Martin born 1912

T01866 Morning 1965

Inscribed "'Morning" | 1965 a.martin' on back of canvas
Acrylic and pencil on canvas, 71 7/8 x 71 5/8 (182.7 x 182)
Purchased from the Mayor Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1974
Prov: With Mayor Gallery, London (purchased from the artist 1974)
Exh: Fundamentele Schilderkunst, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, April-June 1975 (Martin 5, repr.)
Repr: The Tate Gallery 1974-6 (London 1976), p.46

The artist wrote on 19 May 1975:

'I began painting the 72 x 72 inch format in 1960 and I am still using it ...

'When I painted "Morning" I was painting about happiness and bliss. I had to leave out a lot of things that one expects to see in a painting. Happiness and bliss are very simple states of mind I guess. I have not repeated any of my drawings as paintings.

'To myself and to some others there is a lot of difference between one work and another - difference in meaning. There are many different happinesses and blisses. "Morning" a wonderful dawn, soft, and fresh - before daily care takes hold. It is about how we feel. Some titles are more obscure. "Tree" for instance means an exceptionally innocent (innocent of knowledge and action) state of mind. And "Desert" is a very arid, that is unsentimental, state of mind.'

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.488, reproduced p.488

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