Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin: "...unknown territory..." Paintings from the 1960s

April 4, 2005 - November 17, 2005

<p>Agnes Martin, <i>Untitled</i>, c. 1959. Dia Art Foundation.</p>

Agnes Martin, Untitled, c. 1959. Dia Art Foundation.



Press Release


Focusing on works from the 1960s, including signature grid paintings

Apr 14, 2005

Beacon, New York—An exhibition of paintings by Agnes Martin organized as part of the temporary exhibition program at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, is currently on view. Agnes Martin’s six-decade career is the subject of Dia Art Foundation’s in-depth, four-year exploration. The current show in this multi-part retrospective, which began in May 2004, focuses on works made in the 1960s, when Martin lived in New York City. "...unknown territory..." will be on view through November 7, 2005.

The first phase of the retrospective, "...going forward into unknown territory..." highlighted early works including transitional paintings from the late 1950s and early 1960s. "…unknown territory…" builds on this first show and incorporates a selection of Martin’s signature canvases from the 1960s. While the first part traced Martin’s development towards the six-foot square grid, the current show brings together subsequent classic paintings from this key period in her oeuvre. Shown in the diffused natural light of Dia’s galleries, the presentation offers twenty-one paintings, many of which are rarely seen due to their fragility and rarity. These include Play (1966), with a subtle white grid in acrylic overlaying a gray background, and Garden (1964), a grid in green and red pencil on whitea ground, among others. A four-color brochure including an essay on Martin’s art by exhibition curator Lynne Cooke accompanies the exhibition.

"...unknown territory..." will be followed in December 2005 by a presentation of works from the years 1974 to 1979. Dia’s multi-part exploration will bring to Dia:Beacon the full scope of Martin’s six-decade career, ranging from early paintings whose origins lie in memories of nature, to grid paintings from the mid-1960s, and to later projects including her 1999 Innocent Love series, made specifically to be shown at Dia:Beacon.

Gallery Talk
On Saturday, August 27, as part of Dia’s series of monthly Gallery Talks at Dia:Beacon, Jan Avgikos, a contributing editor of Artforum, will talk about Martin’s work within the exhibition. The talk takes place at 1 pm and is free with museum admission. Reservations are suggested; please call Dia:Beacon at 845 440 0100 extension 44.

Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin was born in Macklin, a town in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1912. She grew up in Vancouver, then moved to Bellingham, Washington, in 1932. Martin gained a BA in 1942 and an MA in 1952 from the Teachers College at Columbia University, New York, while intermittently living in New Mexico. In 1957 she relocated to Coenties Slip in Lower Manhattan, where her neighbors included the artists Robert Indiana, Ellsworth Kelly, James Rosenquist, Leonore Tawney, and Ann Wilson. Martin had her first one-person exhibition in 1958 at the Betty Parsons Gallery, New York. Surveys of her work have been presented at venues including the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1973), the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1991), the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1992), and the Menil Collection, Houston (2002). Martin continued to live and work in Taos, New Mexico, until her death on December 16, 2004.

Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries
Dia:Beacon, Dia Art Foundation’s museum in the Hudson Valley, presents a distinguished collection of contemporary art from the 1960s to the present. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, New York, the museum occupies a former Nabisco box-printing facility, which was renovated by Dia with artist Robert Irwin and architect OpenOffice.

Dia:Beacon’s expansive galleries comprise 240,000 square feet of exhibition space illuminated by natural light. The museum houses works by a focused group of some of the most significant artists of the last half century, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Blinky Palermo, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner. Programming at the museum includes a series of year-long temporary exhibitions as well as public programs designed to complement the collection and exhibitions, including monthly Gallery Talks, music performances by St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Readings in Contemporary Literature, Community Free Days for neighboring counties and an education program that serves area students at all education levels.

Dia Art Foundation
Dia Art Foundation was founded in 1974. A nonprofit institution, Dia plays a vital role among visual arts organizations nationally and internationally by initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects, and by serving as a locus for interdisciplinary art and criticism. Dia presents its permanent collection at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, in Beacon, New York; exhibitions and public programming at Dia:Chelsea, in New York City (currently closed for renovations); and long-term, site-specific projects in the western United States, in New York City, and on Long Island.

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For additional information or materials contact:
Press Department, Dia Art Foundation, or 212 293 5518

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