Agnes Martin With My Back to the World 1997

  • Not on view

These six paintings form a series that Martin considered a single entity titled With My Back to the World. Its title encapsulates her worldview—that art sits outside of the cares and corruption of the world—and her hermetic lifestyle. Martin often worked in series and sometimes sought to have her works displayed alone. She wanted to envelop viewers within her vision, in this case, pastel bands of blue, peach, and yellow. These six, banded canvases may at first appear to be identical, but with time, attention, and a closer look, their many small variations reveal themselves. Martin was in her mid-80s and residing in an assisted living facility when she made this work. Though she remained strong and lucid, she reduced the size of her larger canvases to 60 x 60 inches so that she could handle them more easily.

Additional text from In The Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting online course, Coursera, 2017
Acrylic on canvas, six panels
Each 60 x 60" (152.5 x 152.5 cm)
Fractional and promised gift of the Ovitz Family Collection
Object number
© 2023 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

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