As she grew older and became less physically able, Martin reduced the size of her large paintings from 72 by 72 inches (183 centimetres) to 60 by 60 inches (152 centimetres) so she could handle them more easily. She drove to her small studio almost every morning from her home in an assisted living facility nearby and continued to create works until 2004. This last room brings together a selection of Martin’s late paintings, representing the breadth and intensity of her practice towards the end of her life. Some paintings, such as Homage to Life 2003, feature opaque geometric shapes, reminiscent of Martin’s work of the late 1950s and their evocation of natural forms and landscape.
Throughout her career Martin destroyed paintings that did not meet her rigorous standards of perfection. Martin’s art dealer and friend Arne Glimcher recalls the artist’s last days: ‘I sat by her side one morning and although her eyes were closed, I sensed she was awake. Agnes beckoned me to come closer to the bed, “There are three new paintings in the studio. The one on the wall is finished and the two on the floor need to be destroyed.” Would I go to the studio and destroy them for her? This was her last request.’ Martin died at the age of ninety-two on 16 December 2004 in Taos.