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AGNES MARTIN (1912-2004)

 
AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in. AGNES MARTIN - Untitled #11 - acrylic and graphite on canvas - 60 x 60 in.
Untitled #11199860 x 60 in.(152.4 x 152.4 cm) acrylic and graphite on canvas
Provenance
Pace Wildenstein, New York (February 1999)
Private Collection, California
Literature
Arne Glimcher, Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances, London 2012, p. 178, illustrated
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“When I think of art, I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye, it is in my mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.” – Agnes Martin

History

Agnes Martin ranks as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Although her life and works have had lasting impact and influence, her paintings are impervious studies of complexities – filled with profound beauty, sitting at a steely remove. She is most known for her square canvases filled with grids and horizontal lines. To say they are silent meditations would do a disservice to their hermetic splendor. To say they are opaque examinations of line, color, and form would cut off conversations on their impact on the viewer and influence on other artists. Instead, we must treat her paintings as totems to a tireless artistic vision.

More
  • Agnes Martin-photo-3-web
    Agnes Martin photographed in her studio by Mildred Tolbert c. 1955
  • martin-portrait-WEB
    Agnes Martin at her house near Cuba, New Mexico, in 1974. Photograph by Gianfranco Gorgon
  • Agnes Martin-photo-Taos-WEB
    Agnes Martin, Taos, 1997 by Steve Northup
“My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.” – Agnes Martin

MARKET INSIGHTS

  • Martin_AMR graph
  • The graph prepared by Art Market Research shows that since 1976, paintings by Agnes Martin have increased at a 15.1% annual rate of return.
  • Most of the Martin paintings that have achieved the highest prices at auction, depicted below, feature horizontal washes of pale blue, yellow, and light red, delicately defined by penciled lines. Untitled #11, though completed in 1998, is characteristic of this earlier and pivotal time
  • The record for a Martin painting at auction was set in 2016 when Orange Grove (1965) sold for $10,693,000 USD. The top 5 Martin paintings at auction all sold for over $6 million USD.
  • A recent resurgence of interest in artwork by women adds value to this piece as major museums seek to highlight historically marginalized groups. Martin created just 568 paintings in her prime period between 1960-2004. Of those, 145 are held in permanent museum collections, leaving 423 that might become available for sale.
  • Untitled (2003), a comparable year and size to Untitled #11, sold for $4,692,500 USD in November of 2017. Based on the compound annual growth rate of 15%, that painting would be worth over $7 million today.

Top Results at Auction

"Orange Grove", 1965, oil and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie's New York: May 2016 for $10,693,000
“Orange Grove”, 1965, oil and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie’s New York: May 2016 for $10,693,000
"Untitled #13", 1980, acrylic, gesso and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie's New York: May 2017 for $8,112,500
“Untitled #13”, 1980, acrylic, gesso and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie’s New York: May 2017 for $8,112,500
"Untitled #6", 1983, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie's New York: November 2016 for $6,743,500
“Untitled #6”, 1983, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie’s New York: November 2016 for $6,743,500
"The Beach", 1964, oil and pencil on canvas, 75 x 75 in., Sold at Sotheby's New York: November 2013 for $6,549,000
“The Beach”, 1964, oil and pencil on canvas, 75 x 75 in., Sold at Sotheby’s New York: November 2013 for $6,549,000
"Happy Valley", 1970, acrylic, graphite and ink on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie's New York: November 2015 for $6,325,000
“Happy Valley”, 1970, acrylic, graphite and ink on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Sold at Christie’s New York: November 2015 for $6,325,000

Paintings in Museum Collections

"Untitled #5", 1998, acrylic paint and graphite on canvas, 60 x 60 in., The Whitney Museum of American Art
“Untitled #5”, 1998, acrylic paint and graphite on canvas, 60 x 60 in., The Whitney Museum of American Art
"Untitled #7", 1998, acrylic paint and graphite on canvas, 60 x 60 in., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
“Untitled #7”, 1998, acrylic paint and graphite on canvas, 60 x 60 in., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
"Untitled #1", 1981, gesso, synthetic polymer paint, and pencil on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Museum of Modern Art, New York
“Untitled #1”, 1981, gesso, synthetic polymer paint, and pencil on canvas, 72 x 72 in., Museum of Modern Art, New York
"Untitled #12", 1977, India ink, graphite, and gesso on canvas, 72 x 72 in., The Art Institute of Chicago
“Untitled #12”, 1977, India ink, graphite, and gesso on canvas, 72 x 72 in., The Art Institute of Chicago
"Fiesta", 1985, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 1/16 x 72 1/8 in., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
“Fiesta”, 1985, acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 1/16 x 72 1/8 in., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
“The value of art is in the observer.” – Agnes Martin

Image Gallery

Additional Resources

Agnes Martin – “Beauty is in Your Mind” – TateShots
1997 Interview with Agnes Martin
Sue Kim – Fine Art Consultant at Heather James discusses Agnes Martin at SFMOMA

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