Oxymoron of the Day: Agnes Martin’s Bling

THE DAILY PIC: In the Martin survey at the Guggenheim, a career built on grays gives way, just once, to a golden glimmer.

(© 2016 Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)


THE DAILY PIC (#1679): It may be the most amazing thing about the Agnes Martin show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York: From first painting to last, from the bottom of Wright’s spiral to the top, from the 1950s through the 2000s, Martin barely budged from an esthetic of diffident grace and quiet contemplation.

And then there’s this surprising 1963 canvas from the Museum of Modern Art, called Friendship and covered entirely in gold leaf. It feels like a very, very rare moment where Martin is responding to the vibe in the art and culture around her. Could gray-on-gray really have held its own in a New York where Pop art was taking over?

As someone who studies Warhol, I can’t help noticing how the Martin rhymed with Andy’s recent works at the time:


(© 2016 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

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