AGNES MARTIN: RETROSPECTIVE

AGNES MARTIN: RETROSPECTIVE

Curated by: Jared Tabler

AGNES MARTIN: RETROSPECTIVE

Gallery Hours
November 24 – December 11, 2022 are:

  • noon-8pm Tuesdays-Fridays
  • 6-8pm Saturdays
  • and noon-2pm Sundays

December 13-18 by appointment.

For more information, email visualarts@theatrenetwork.ca.


This retrospective features work from Martin’s On A Clear Day series, as well as photographs documenting her time in Taos, New Mexico and features a digital, multimedia showcase that coincides with Theatre Network’s world premiere of THE INNOCENCE OF TREES by Eugene Stickland.

Agnes Martin’s pursuit of themes of beauty, happiness, and innocence are explored in this retrospective of her work and life. This retrospective features Martin’s only major print project, “On a Clear Day” which she created towards the end of a seven-year period (1967-1974) during which she made no paintings. Martin had moved to a remote area in New Mexico to live in isolation. She had spent the previous decade in New York City, a time during which she had critical and commercial success but disliked the distractions of the busy city, desiring a quieter, clearer place to live where she could create. The project took her two years to bring to fruition and shortly after finishing the project, she resumed her painting practice, which she continued until she passed away in 2004.

During her time in New Mexico she ventured out on a road trip with her friend and associate, Donald Woodman. Included in this exhibition are a selection of photographs taken by Woodman documenting their nearly ill-fated journey from New Mexico to the Northwest Territories. Woodman described his relationship with Martin as complicated and challenging which speaks to her state of mind during the seven years of their friendship.

As with all of her mature work, the prints of “On a Clear Day” take as their subject matter the grid, rendered with an astonishing diversity of expression, focused with severe rigor yet compositionally and interpretatively open. About her grids, Martin famously said, “My formats are square, but the grids never are absolutely square; they are rectangles. When I cover the square surface with rectangles, it lightens the weight of the square, destroys its power.”  Elsewhere, she explained that the grid came to her as an inspiration. “I was thinking about innocence, and then I saw it in my mind, that grid – so I painted it, and sure enough, it was innocent.” 

Agnes Martin, On A Clear Day, 1973.png
Agnes Martin, White Flower I, 1985, acrylic and graphite on canvas 183x183cm.