#100 Agnes Martin (and Praise)

A note to the 100Days100Women artists:

I want to express my thanks (and praise) to you for taking part in this project.

Thank you for your generous responses to the questions and for sharing your work with me and a wider audience of over 10,000 people (just counting Facebook and the website alone).

It has been wonderful to see art of all descriptions sit side-by-side in a way they probably never would in a museum or gallery setting, and to bring together artists that are separated geographically, and indeed by culture or language. Art, of course, tears away these boundaries—real or imagined—and brings you, and the audience together. Helped in this instance by technology (and human effort and will).

The diversity of forms, aesthetics, philosophies, materials, politics, emotions, and media witnessed within the past 100 days has been nothing short of awesome. The questioning has been palpable—and too, the voices, the strong identities, the human touch, the desire to connect, share, story-tell.

It’s a shame I cannot continue for another 100 days (and more) but I hope and trust that people will come across this site after today, and enjoy it as much as I have. Online, the journey renews.

And because art sometimes says thank you better than words; I leave you with Agnes Martin and Praise.

x H


Praise (1976), was the second print series Agnes Martin produced—the first was On a Clear Day (1973).

Produced by Parasol Press and distributed by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the print is an engraving on thin Dalton Natural Bond paper, limited to a print run of 1,000 editions.

Printed by Triton Press and stamped by Unity Engraving Company, Praise is more colorful than the artist’s first print series. Nine wide, and ten slim, vertical bands are given shape by nineteen firm lines pulled down through a field of soft pink.

In a 1976 interview with Kate Horsfield for Video Data Bank, Agnes reveals how Praise inspired her larger canvas paintings:

“But now I know what I’m going to paint about and I discovered it when I was making a print. I’m going to be painting a lot about praise; I’m looking forward to it … for the next year or maybe two or five I will think about nothing but praise—like the birds praising in the morning, and the sun on the wall praising, and the earth praising, and the stones praising and all of that.”

This quote is interesting for a number of reasons. Firstly, it shows the way in which Agnes’s smaller scale work inspired her larger paintings. It also reveals how far Agnes could stretch a theme, or find its wingspan. Like the personages in her early work, and those featured in her walks with her friend, Louise Sause, in New York——in this quote, the birds, the sun, the earth, and the stones are anthropomorphized into characters that praise other natural elements.

Though Agnes would never (at this point in her career) paint a bird, a stone, a sun, or the earth, this quote shows that they were certainly present in her mind as inspiration.

From Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon (Schaffner Press, 2018).


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