Agnes Martin: Luminous Distillations

Agnes Martin, Friendship, 1963, incised gold leaf and gesso on canvas (Museum of
Agnes Martin, Friendship, 1963, incised gold leaf and gesso on canvas (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Kelly Grovier reviews Agnes Martin at Tate Modern, on view through October 11, 2015.

Grovier writes: "Ghosting among these diaphanous canvases, room by room, one’s eyes are slowly heightened to the uplifting paradox that undergirds Martin’s artistic conviction: apprehension of life’s beauty and its intensities does not require a retinal mimicry of physical forms in the here-and-now, but a luminous distillation of invisible harmonies and mysterious proportions. Though they may have required for their exacting execution the fragility of a mind as brittle and punctilious as Martin’s, the power of her paintings is that of a sublime symphony: their mute melodies as meticulously wrought as they are effortlessly imbibed by the ear of the eye."