Agnes Martin by Nancy Princenthal

Agnes Martin

Over the course of a career that spanned fifty years, Agnes Martin s austere, serene work anticipated and helped to define Minimalism, even as she battled psychological crises and carved out a solitary existence in the American Southwest. Martin identified with the Abstract Expressionists but her commitment to linear geometry caused her to be associated in turn with Minimalist, feminist, and even outsider artists. She moved through some of the li...

Details Agnes Martin

TitleAgnes Martin
Release DateJun 16th, 2015
PublisherThames Hudson
GenreArt, Biography, Nonfiction, Biography Memoir

Reviews Agnes Martin

  • Richard Derus
    Rating: 5* of fiveMartin wasn't an unknown toiler in the vineyards of art. She was likely held back from stratospheric fame by her own demons...but I suspect that her being a woman in the old boys' club of 1950s New York-centric art didn't make her life one whit easier. My review is live now.
  • Robert Vaughan
    A gripping book about a formidable, and important modern artist, Agnes Martin, and her path as a painter/ artist and the many places she lived and created. I was very touched by the deft hand of the author who took on such a private and unusual subject, and as biography often can, made Martin's choices and struggles come to light, much like Martin's paintings do. I loved the wide scope of the art scene as backdrop, both the New York art scene as ...
  • MaryJo
    I find Agnes Martin's large abstract/minimalist paintings compelling. Viewing one of them can be a meditative experience. My interest in her is enhanced by what I know about her remarkable presence as a woman in the 20th century New York art world, and her unusual biography. Martin was born in Saskatchewan in 2012, and died in New Mexico in 2004 at 92. She moved to Washington State as a child when her father died, and supported herself in lots of...
  • Johanna DeBiase
    In the biography, “Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art,” by Nancy Princenthal, we encounter a great artist who, whether by choice or necessity, picks art over everything else. Princenthal goes into pages of minute details about how Martin’s paintings are created, as well as, quotes reviews of her work and states where all her work is exhibited. While little is said about Martin’s relationships, much is said about her art, making this a compreh...
  • Catherine
    I finished this book with a sense of loneliness. Princenthal spends more time than I can manage on describing her art work. This is definitely an academic take on Agnes Martin's life. I am currently reading Henry Martin's book about Agnes. Agnes had stretches of silence and many relationships both romantic and platonic throughout her life. I didn't get a sense of these relationships in Princenthal's biography.
  • Olivia
    Very well written and interesting subject. Not an “easy” read but delving into a person’s life, other people’s recollections of her, and past critics reviews of her works, both accurate and not, is not an easy task.
  • Ashlyn
    "The ability to recognize failure is the most important talent of an artist. "
  • Stephanie Blair
    Favorite Quote: "It is better to go to the beach and think about painting than it is to be painting and thinking about going to the beach."
  • Susanne
    I am reading a biography about Agnes Martin, the american artist, who spent so many years in or close to Taos. I started reading it, shortly before I departed for New Mexico last August. That said, it is obviously, that it takes me an awful long time, to finish the book. So, this morning, I started to wonder, why that was the case, and the first answer was: this book is demanding. You can not just read it. It often reads like a scientists paper i...
  • Renee
    A stunning exploration of Martin's life, influences, and art. A nuanced masterpiece.
  • Bill Syken
    Martin is a fascinating character—I love her line, "I have no friends, and you're one of them." She's also a thought provoking painter. I also think Nancy Princenthal is a fine biograper, but the secretive and obscure Martin often didn't leave her much to work with, and so the book has long sections in which Martin all but disappears and the biographer is left to general descriptions about the worlds in which Martin was moving or the currents o...
  • Brian
    i think i would rather give this a 3.5 star rating. i do love Agnes Martin, and that alone made the book worthwhile. that said, i do feel the author didn't hold up to the subject. she frequently references the difficulties of Martin's mental health, but doesn't offer much information as to how this played out in her life. and at times, it gets bogged down in art world gossip. regardless, a great book, and totally looking forward to seeing the ret...
  • Pat
    A good source for a scholar studying this fascinatingly eccentric painter whose work mesmerizes me. However, it is a hard read with all its detail, and I still don't feel I understand what drove her to adopt her iconic style.
  • Luci
    Interesting disussions about theory, art criticism and from that perspective, not badly written...except I was not interested in reading about that. Perhaps some biographies should not be written. Best to read her writings and view her paintings...not read about them.
  • Louise Silk
    great information about all of the artists of her time and what living an artist's life was was like then. Also, interesting insight into her style of minimalist painting.
  • Carol
    Second time reading this book. I am anticipating a trip back to Taos in the next year, possibly, and wanted to re-read before visiting the Harwood Museum to see her beautiful work.
  • Bill Wells
    While I did end up enjoying this book, there were places that I felt like the author was stretching her material to fill in what was a very private life.
  • Elisa
    Absolutely awful. More writing about other artists and nothing about her were amazing so I requested it for library to purchase it and I feel just awful what a waste.
  • Mary
    Interesting read. Learned a lot. I have recently cone to appreciate Martin's work and what I learned about her in this book will enrich my future viewing experiences.
  • Rebecca
    Thorough portrait of a fascinating artist.