Her technique is perfectionist: on a canvas painted in monochrome oil, superseded after 1964 by acrylic, she draws a set of colored lines in a single repeating pattern from top to bottom, too thin for the naked eye but endlessly bringing a renewed richness of texture. This practice based on the parallels is somehow reminiscent of the highly aesthetic weaving of the primitive Navajo blankets.
The titles of her most accomplished works express the landscape. The Beach, 190 x 190 cm, painted in 1964, was sold for $ 6.5 million at Sotheby's on November 13, 2013. Desert, painted in 1965, was sold for $ 4.7 million by Christie's on May 16, 2007. Mountain II, painted in 1966, was sold for $ 4.5 million by Christie's at the same sale. These prices include the premium.
Agnes was active up to that point in the artistic life of New York, but 1967 marks a challenge to her fragile mental health. The fame that is reaching her is not suitable for her aspiration to discretion. The building where she has her studio is scheduled to be destroyed and her artistic mentor, Ad Reinhardt, younger to her by one year, dies unexpectedly.
Agnes Martin, aged 55, takes the road for a wandering life according to the hippie mood that will soon lead her to settle permanently in Taos. She stops painting for seven years.
On November 10 in New York, Christie's sells an acrylic, graphite and ink on canvas 183 x 183 cm painted in 1967, lot 13B estimated $ 5M. The title, Happy Valley, indicates a feeling and thus marks her need to resume her lost peace of mind. Although the exact day is not known and the artwork is not located, it is probably one of the last paintings made by Agnes Martin before her grand start to the unknown.
SOLD for $ 6.3M including premium