Lot 74
  • 74

Agnes Martin

Estimate
2,500,000 - 3,500,000 USD
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Description

  • Agnes Martin
  • Untitled #1
  • signed, titled and dated 1996 on the reverse
  • acrylic and graphite on canvas
  • 60 x 60 in. 152.4 x 152.4 cm.

Provenance

Pace Wildenstein, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above

Condition

This painting is in excellent condition. The canvas is framed in a metal strip frame with a float. Please contact the Contemporary Art Department at 212-606-7254 for a condition report prepared by Terrence Mahon.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Catalogue Note

In Ned Rifkin's essay "Agnes Martin: The Music of the Spheres" in the 2002 exhibition catalogue for the Menil Collection, he discusses the artist's change in her paintings' format and her return to color.

``Since moving to Taos in 1993, working in a small studio near her residence, Martin has reduced the size of her major paintings from a six-foot square to a five-foot square. The difference in area between the earlier and the most recent one is a mere eleven square feet. Yet this seemingly slight change has introduced a new intimacy of scale and simultaneously opened her work to a decidedly more lyrical tone in color and feeling. With these small, yet significant, changes comes another phenomenon: Martin has extended her visual language from one that embodies densely focused fields of opaquely painted surfaces to one whose vocabulary stresses vaporous emanations of ethereal light, like that of the New Mexico landscape in which she works. (Exh. Cat. Houston, The Menil Collection, Agnes Martin: the Nineties and Beyond, 2002, p. 26-27)

``Color in Martin's late paintings serves a function comparable to that of formal design or composition. The way she deploys color alludes to the workings of light rather than to objects of color. Her pale blues are not remote and cool, nor are her yellows hot. Because the paint is diluted acrylic and combines with the chalky whites of her gesso, Martin's colors both absorb and reflect light. This unusual way of handling color, as if to impart a feel or an `aroma' rather than to create temperature or to mimic naturalistic color, characterizes much of Martin's work over the past several years. Her hues, so masterfully washy, are liquid intimations of color. They are also fields of space that recede and advance in relation to one another.'' (Ibid, p. 26)