These prints express innocence of mind. If you can go with them and hold your mind as empty and tranquil as they are and recognize your feelings at the same time you will realize your full response to this work.
Agnes Martin, 1975
In 1968 Martin resettled in New Mexico, building an adobe house and log studio on a remote mesa. She lived there alone and without modern conveniences for several years. In 1972, she was invited to Stuttgart, Germany to work on a portfolio of thirty screenprints. One year later, Parasol Press, New York published the portfolio, On a Clear Day. The prints demonstrate Martin’s continuing interest in the grid structure, each sheet divided differently but in a uniformly precise, almost mechanical way. According to the printer Kathan Brown, Martin had a ‘particular problem she wanted to solve. She wanted the printer to straighten out her lines, which she said she could never paint straight enough.’
The production of On a Clear Day precipitated Martin’s return to painting. The prints were first shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1973, coinciding with the artist’s first retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.