Agnes Martin @ the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

April 24, 2016–September 11, 2016.

Any retrospective of Agnes Martin’s seminal work would immediately draw our attention, and the current large-scale retrospective at LACMA is no exception. A pioneer of abstraction, whose meditative gridded and striped compositions presaged minimalism and occupy a central position in 20th century American art, Martin still surprised us.  When studied closely, early works like White Flower of 1960 (below) possess the tactile allure of ancient fabrics, subtly blending modernist abstraction with the intimate beauty of homegrown domestic artifacts. In the predominantly male art of geometric abstraction in the 1950s and 60s, Martin’s canvases display a gentle and expressive touch that aligns itself with the age-old craft of weaving, needle-work and rug-making—a powerful aspect of Martin’s work that had eluded us so far. This not-to-be-missed exhibition, which also features an array of the artist's delicate pencil drawings, closes September 11, 2016.