Departing from her pale palette, in the late 1980s Martin began a series she called Black Paintings. Untitled #6 is among these paintings, which are not actually black but are, rather, characterized by a palette of deep grays. Close viewing reveals the signature subtle variations in her ruled lines that impart visual complexity to the work’s surface and soften its severity. Subtlety also characterizes her approach to color. She shifted the hue of her grays by adding pigments such as ochres and umbers. Martin’s compositions were carefully preconceived, as evidenced by her notebooks filled with measurements worked out in fractions and long division.
Additional text from In The Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting online course, Coursera, 2017