Agnes Martin, ‘Morning’ 1965
Agnes Martin, Morning 1965 . Tate . © Estate of Agnes Martin / DACS, 2020

Room 1 in In the Studio

Agnes Martin and Lenore Tawney

Morning

Agnes Martin, Morning  1965

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

© Estate of Agnes Martin / DACS, 2020

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The Queen

Lenore Tawney, The Queen  1962

Tawney created her large, free-hanging works using ‘open-warp’ weaving techniques. This leaves some of the warp threads uncovered, creating vertical slits. The finished work is not densely woven like a traditional textile. It is transparent and hangs away from the wall. The Queen is from a group of weavings that Tawney first exhibited at the Staten Island Museum, New York, in 1962. The weavings were named by the artist Agnes Martin, who wrote a statement for the exhibition’s leaflet.

Gallery label, February 2020

© Tate

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Lenore Tawney, Light in Darkness  1965

This is one of a group of drawings in Tate’s collection by American sculptor and pioneer of ‘fiber’ [sic.] art Lenore Tawney (Tate L03876–L03881). Executed in ink with a fine pen, they are mostly drawn on graph paper or squared paper, their geometrical structure and meticulous approach reminiscent of the drawings of Tawney’s close friend, the abstract painter Agnes Martin (1912–2004). In the mid-1960s, after a period spent making woven sculptures of an increasingly complex nature (see, for example, The King I 1962 [Tate L03873], The Queen 1962 [Tate L03874] and Lekythos 1962 [Tate L03875]), Tawney visited a factory in New Jersey to observe a Jacquard loom. Inspired by this visit, she studied how to use the Jacquard loom for a year at the Textile Institute in Philadelphia, and it was during this time that she produced the series of drawings of which this is one example. These drawings demonstrate most clearly Tawney’s shared interests with Martin, though the forms Tawney created on graph paper were often more complex and ‘sculptural’ than Martin’s equivalent grid drawings. Like Martin, Tawney was interested in meditation and eastern philosophy throughout her lifetime and saw the slow and precise process of creating these drawings, as well as her textile pieces, as a form of meditation.

3/5
artworks in Agnes Martin and Lenore Tawney

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Lenore Tawney, From Its Center  1964

This is one of a group of drawings in Tate’s collection by American sculptor and pioneer of ‘fiber’ [sic.] art Lenore Tawney (Tate L03876–L03881). Executed in ink with a fine pen, they are mostly drawn on graph paper or squared paper, their geometrical structure and meticulous approach reminiscent of the drawings of Tawney’s close friend, the abstract painter Agnes Martin (1912–2004). In the mid-1960s, after a period spent making woven sculptures of an increasingly complex nature (see, for example, The King I 1962 [Tate L03873], The Queen 1962 [Tate L03874] and Lekythos 1962 [Tate L03875]), Tawney visited a factory in New Jersey to observe a Jacquard loom. Inspired by this visit, she studied how to use the Jacquard loom for a year at the Textile Institute in Philadelphia, and it was during this time that she produced the series of drawings of which this is one example. These drawings demonstrate most clearly Tawney’s shared interests with Martin, though the forms Tawney created on graph paper were often more complex and ‘sculptural’ than Martin’s equivalent grid drawings. Like Martin, Tawney was interested in meditation and eastern philosophy throughout her lifetime and saw the slow and precise process of creating these drawings, as well as her textile pieces, as a form of meditation.

4/5
artworks in Agnes Martin and Lenore Tawney

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Lenore Tawney, That Enters From the End Into the Beginning  1964

This is one of a group of drawings in Tate’s collection by American sculptor and pioneer of ‘fiber’ [sic.] art Lenore Tawney (Tate L03876–L03881). Executed in ink with a fine pen, they are mostly drawn on graph paper or squared paper, their geometrical structure and meticulous approach reminiscent of the drawings of Tawney’s close friend, the abstract painter Agnes Martin (1912–2004). In the mid-1960s, after a period spent making woven sculptures of an increasingly complex nature (see, for example, The King I 1962 [Tate L03873], The Queen 1962 [Tate L03874] and Lekythos 1962 [Tate L03875]), Tawney visited a factory in New Jersey to observe a Jacquard loom. Inspired by this visit, she studied how to use the Jacquard loom for a year at the Textile Institute in Philadelphia, and it was during this time that she produced the series of drawings of which this is one example. These drawings demonstrate most clearly Tawney’s shared interests with Martin, though the forms Tawney created on graph paper were often more complex and ‘sculptural’ than Martin’s equivalent grid drawings. Like Martin, Tawney was interested in meditation and eastern philosophy throughout her lifetime and saw the slow and precise process of creating these drawings, as well as her textile pieces, as a form of meditation.

5/5
artworks in Agnes Martin and Lenore Tawney

Art in this room

Morning
Agnes Martin Morning 1965
The Queen
Lenore Tawney The Queen 1962

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Lenore Tawney Light in Darkness 1965

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Lenore Tawney From Its Center 1964

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Lenore Tawney That Enters From the End Into the Beginning 1964

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