Agnes Martin

Untitled # 5 (1994)

About this artwork

Agnes Martin has described her paintings as being about “light, lightness, about merging, about formlessness". The horizontal lines of delicate colour with pencil outlines seen in this painting are typical of Martin's work. The bands were painted vertically to allow the paint to run down the length of the stripe, and the paintings were turned horizontally when finished. Although the painting is a metre and a half square, the artist used an eighteen inch ruler to draw the pencil lines, moving it across the width of the painting. This allows the artist's hand to be clearly seen, and on viewing the work closely, the irregularity of the pencil lines is evident.

see more information
  • title: Untitled # 5
  • accession number: AR00177
  • artist: Agnes MartinAmerican (1912 - 2004)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • date created: 1994
  • measurements: 152.50 x 152.80 x 3.50 cm (framed: 155.90 x 156.20 x 4.80 cm)
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © Estate of Agnes Martin
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin was born in Canada but moved to the United States in 1932, becoming an American citizen in 1950. Her paintings were representational until the mid-1950s. By 1964, she had fully developed her characteristic style of canvases covered with a grid structure. In a manner similar to that employed by Mondrian as well as by contemporary minimalist artists, Martin's use of grids asserts the flatness of the picture plane and suggests a meditative spirituality. Her work avoids personal and biographical references as well as influences from nature. Martin has also written extensively on art.