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Agnes Martin: Writings

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Now in its third printing, this collection of letters, journals, and lectures is the standard collection of writings by the artist. "I suggest that people who like to be alone, who walk alone, will perhaps be serious workers in the art field."--Agnes Martin. ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published July 2nd 1998 by Hatje Cantz (first published July 1st 1998)
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Rachel Aloise
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A recurring idea throughout these writings is that art can convey an awareness of perfection in the mind—perfection remembered, attempted but never fully realized in the creative process. ‘To feel insufficient, to experience disappointment and defeat in waiting for inspiration is the natural state of mind of an artist’ writes Martin, whose views on inspiration are especially compelling.

Inspiration is pervasive but not a power.
It's a peaceful thing. (…)
Do not think that it is unique.
If it were un
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
read somewhere this book was 'essential and sever.' so I went out and tracked it down, pre- Amazon, out of print, tracked it down.

this is the book you never stop reading. the book of common prayer for the artist.....

Agnes is our Quaker Saint, if the Quakers would allow such indulgences.

her writing squares her work. she is a whole being.

she talks of always keeping the dragon at bay

Absolutely essential book in my life. One of those books I regard as a magic object when I catch a of breath of it ou
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it

pervading thought-images:

inspiration as a surrender to the inevitable in one's own mind,
the sense of adventure as an obedience to life, a full response to our personal awareness of beauty
—beauty as a command

"(...) being on the beam with life —to feel the pull of life."
Hava Liberman
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this on scribd, since it was $70 to buy an actual copy. I really enjoyed Agnes Martin's strange mix of mysticism, story telling, and common sense, (particularly the latter!) Good advice for artists...if you're not a huge fan of conceptual art. I'm always amazed that the most spiritual and mystical artists often produce extremely minimalist and sharply geometric work. What does it mean? ...more
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
her writing reminds me a bit of John Cage, which in matters of art, creativity and spirituality, i think of as very high praise.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: artists, memoir
In which I become a grain of sand.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Drawn in by reading about her being a recluse mystic painter, I enjoyed her perspective on art - the artist aspires for beauty, not for any political agenda. I loved what she wrote about solitude, that it is a prerequisite for the artist and for the spiritual path. This is concerned with finding your own way in life, to wholly trust inspiration, and to live your life true to yourself.

Cradled on the mountain I can rest
Solitude and freedom are the same
under every fallen leaf
Others do not really ex
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hold fast to your life, to beauty and happiness and inspiration, and to obedience to inspiration.
Do not imitate others or seek advice anywhere except from your own mind. No-one can help you. No-one knows what your life should be. No-one knows what your life or life itself should be because it is in the process of being created.

oh, there was so much to learn from this little book. agnes martin is a mentor in happiness, inspiration, beauty and perfection. her ways of thinking are so different fro
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Poetic notes composed in a dense, aphoristic manner which investigate the concepts of beauty and perception and work/creation and awareness/consciousness. Through them, Agnes Martin intends to create impressions on the way one thinks of art and life alike (as well as what it is to live as a committed artist - what is an artist? what is living?). The type of poems where you glean something new from each reread. I wanna make annotations all over them.
I've never agreed and disagreed with someone's views on art so much. She's got some underlying controversial opinions, but it was also inspiring seeing someone's devotion to art.
To sum up, I loved this until her political views showed up.
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Metų atradimas. Imčiau į negyvenamą salą.
Ali V
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, art-book
A lovely collection of Agnes Martin's writings. Quite repetitive at times, but understandable as the writing is very much "stream of consciousness". ...more
Alex Mitchell
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The painter Agnes Martin has always been an inspiration to me ever since I purchased the book called “Writings.” About her art, I know very little, and have never seen her paintings in person. Yet, thankfully, her words from lectures to art students have been collected and compiled in “Writings,” so that her personal pursuit of self-discovery and truth in art and life remains forever recorded.

If I had to sum up in just a few words the main ideas that Agnes Martin talks about, I would say inspira
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-writers
There is in reality no need for self-sacrifice and no call for it. Do not settle for the experience of others. If you follow others you are in reality at a standstill, because their experience is in the past. That is circling. Even following your own past experience, is circling. Know your own response to your own work and to the work of others.

Agnes Martin's collection of letters, journals, and lectures seems hopelessly out of print, which is a shame since it is a beautiful perspective on art a
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Her meditations on art and the relationship of the viewer are some of the most thoughtful and kind I've ever read. As uncompromising as she was in regards to her own life and work, this is a gift for the up and coming artist, or any artist that is struggling in the doldrums. Lives in my studio, read a bizillion times. ...more
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
this is one of my all time favorite books. It was like my little bible for a while. I have lost this book, and I swear its going to be the death of me trying to get another copy. If you ever come across this book don't think twice, and if you don't want it for yourself, think of me at least! ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
love this book!!!!!
Jaya Miller
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
too bad it now costs nearly $200.oo
Marissa Perel
Sep 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
sublime, real
Luke Storms
I absolutely love this book.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite artist's, a book of artist's writings that gave me strength on my own through grad school. ...more
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