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Martin, Agnes (1912–2004)

Martin, Agnes (1912–2004)

Canadian-born American artist. Born Agnes Bernice Martin, Mar 22, 1912, in Macklin, Saskatchewan, Canada; died Dec 16, 2004, in Taos, NM; dau. of Malcolm Ian Martin and Margaret (Kinnon) Martin; immigrated to US, 1932, naturalized citizen, 1940; attended Western Washington College, 1932, Columbia University, 1941–42, 1951–52; University of New Mexico, BFA, 1954.

Developed the "grid" style for which she became famous; had 1st solo exhibition in NY (1958); after 1964, paintings often consisted of canvas or paper entirely covered by a grid, as in Little Sister (1962), Orange Grove (1965) and Desert (1966); inducted into American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1989); held major retrospective exhibitions in Europe (1991) and US (1992); was a featured artist at Whitney Biennial (1995); wrote The Perfection Underlying Life and The Untroubled Mind and produced the film Gabriel (1976). Received Alexej von Jawlensky Prize from city of Wiesbaden, Germany (1991) and Oskar Kokoschka Prize from Austrian government (1992); won the Golden Lion Award for her contribution to contemporary art at Venice Biennale (1997).

See also Barbara Haskell, Agnes Martin (Whitney Museum of Art, 1992); and Women in World History.

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