[the paintings are] not really about nature
It is not what is seen--
It is what is known forever in the mind.
--poem-note by Agnes Martin to the Philadelphia ICA, 1972
Agnes Martin received her master's degree from Columbia University in New York and taught and painted in that city for a number of years--she claims her first exhibition was installed by Abstract Expressionist painter Barnett Newman. While she regards herself as a contemporary of the Abstract Expressionists--sharing their concern with timeless, universal subject matter--she believes her work to be more about the feeling of space than form. Her idea of a pure, geometric structure within or beyond the world of appearances established her as a pioneer of the Minimal Art movement of the 1960s--evidenced by her inclusion in the 1962 exhibition Geometric Abstraction at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1967 she divorced herself from the art world and moved to New Mexico, where she has lived and worked ever since.