Agnes Martin. Mountain I. 1966

Agnes Martin Mountain I 1966

  • Not on view

Martin dispensed with the grid in Mountain I, instead covering its off-white surface with horizontally ruled lines rendered in pencil and paint. Though the thicker, white painted lines are delicate, they appear bold and definite beside the much softer, pencil-drawn lines. Martin used many different tools to plot her lines and grids, including rulers, masking tape, and string tacked to opposite margins of the canvas. By focusing intently on process and materials, she thoroughly explored the nuances of the formal qualities of painting—line, color, texture, translucency, gloss, and pictorial space. She also explored perfection, as she maintained: “I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect—completely removed in fact—even as we ourselves are.”

Additional text from In The Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting online course, Coursera, 2017
Synthetic polymer paint and pencil on canvas
72 x 72" (183 x 183 cm)
Gift of Laura-Lee and Robert Woods
Object number
© 2019 Agnes Martin
Painting and Sculpture

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to