Source: Agnes Martin retrospective at the Tate Modern
The Islands, 1961
In a good contrast to the message of domestic oppression I got from Mona Hatoum and Martha Rosler's work, Agnes Martin's grid pieces showed how repetitive structures and tight ordering can create a sense of calm and freedom. With many of the titles alluding to outdoor or intangible pleasures such as Morning, Friendship, Adventure and The Sea, I thought the pieces demonstrated a wonderful tranquility, and they made me rethink my initial idea of a tightly ordered grid as oppressive. While in the metallic context of Hatoum's work the simplicity of the grid can seem bare and unyielding, in Martin's paintings and drawings the simplicity of composition suggests a quiet joy.
While I only went to see the exhibition on a whim (after Emma suggested it as the grids looked similar to my j-cloths) I am really glad I went as I now have fresh ideas about humans' need of order, and how this relates to disorder (linking back to the messy/clean idea of my kitchen ritual.)
The Rose, 1965
© Molly Jaqueline Lea Turner, all rights reserved