**** ‘Agnes Martin’ at Tate Modern, London

Agnes Martin, Happy Holiday, 1999, Tate / National Galleries of Scotland, © estate of Agnes Martin.

I recently wrote a short article about the relationships between female artists, museums and audience numbers, in which I discussed how the public are statistically unbiased towards men; unlike many western museums. Audiences actually want to see the fearless art created by women who are unafraid to challenge traditions in a historically masculine field. But not all of these female artists are, or were, as publicly exposed as the likes of Marina Abramović and Tracey Emin. Agnes Martin, for example, embraced a solitary life, but her work still had a significant impact on other artists. Her summer retrospective at the Tate Modern explores the full breadth of her career, from the early naturalistic landscapes to the uniform abstract canvases she became most famous for.

Agnes Martin, Untitled, 1977, watercolour and graphite on paper, 22.9 x 22.9 cm, Private Collection. Photograph courtesy of Pace Gallery, © 2015 Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Martin’s experimental work in New York is particularly interesting. Burning Tree, with its metal-tipped prong-like branches, is one of a number of sculptural pieces inspired by nature. It’s certainly not something I expected from an artist so fixated on grids and linework, but then geometry and symmetry seem to dominate Martin’s forms even with they are based on organic objects. I also did not anticipate such a warm atmosphere throughout the exhibition, and by that, I mean that I expected such minimalist canvases to lack much of an emotive impact. Some parts of the show did seem rather cold and unfeeling - the 12 near-identical white panels known as The Islands, for instance - but Martin’s delicate use of luminous colour and subtle alterations between works in a series are surprisingly calming.

I should also mention the concept of a retrospective within a retrospective, which becomes apparent in a room filled with drawings executed between 1952 and 2004, the year of Martin’s death. It’s a lot to take in one go, but if you’re interested in the development of an artist’s style over time, then this is a fascinating inclusion.

Agnes Martin, Untitled #1, 2003, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, © 2015 Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Agnes Martin, On a Clear Day, 1973, Parasol Press, Ltd. © 2015 Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Throughout the galleries, the exhibition narration connects Martin’s artistic position to her personal state of mind at the time. She suffered from schizophrenia as an adult, and her obsession with the perfect composition often meant that she destroyed her own works if they did not entirely satisfy. I can see how these associations might distract from Martin’s natural talent, but I see no problem in mentioning these backgrounds if they allow the visitor to understand the artist’s thought processes and feel more connected to the work itself. As someone who often struggles with abstract minimalism, I certainly found myself seeing everything a little more clearly. And who is going to argue with that?

Rating: **** - These simple works feel entirely different in the flesh and I’m ashamed to have left it so long after the exhibition opening to visit.

‘Agnes Martin’ is on at Tate Modern until 11th October 2015. All images are courtesy of the Tate.

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Currently hating on the nun-getup Square Enix have given WhiteMages on the HeavensWard expansion. Designed a whitemage balldress for my character with a naturalistic touch to it.10/10 would never ever glamour my gear again if I got this ;_;

#comfortingmyself #cryingmyselftosleep #goodnight 

Alain Richert (1947-2014 ) Photo Catherine Willis.

Alain, completely unexpectedly, of an AVC, left planet Terra to go botanizing in a distant galaxy, on the last day of november 2014.

He was rejoicing that his recently finished book L’Envers De l’Endroit , Eloge de l’Incertitude was going to be published by Hubert Tonka , Sens and Tonka publishers, Paris. Our friend Claude Eveno took care of the mise en forme and has written the preface. I am happy that Alain had asked me to collaborate to this book by a few notes about sensations, in our garden, au fil des saisons. The superb color photographs by Bruno Suet have been translated in black and white. Philippe Berenger-Leveque has written a list of the insects inhabiting it.

Alain was “a Renaissance man”, an artist, a naturalist, a teacher, an eccentric , a dandy.

and one of the best landscape gardeners in France. He signed 7 “ Jardins Remarquables “

Hyperion: World’s Tallest Known Living Tree

Hyperion is the name of a coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) in Northern California that was measured at 115.61 metres (379.3 ft), which ranks it as the world’s tallest known living tree. Despite its great height, Hyperion is not the largest known coast redwood; that distinction belongs to the Del Norte Titan. Hyperion was discovered August 25, 2006 by naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor. The tree was verified as standing 115.55 metres (379.1 ft) tall by Stephen Sillett. The tree was found in a remote area of Redwood National and State Parks purchased in 1978. The exact location of the tree has not been revealed to the public for fear that human traffic would upset the ecosystem the tree inhabits. The tree is estimated to contain 18,600 cubic feet (530 m3) of wood, and to be roughly 700–800 years old. (Source)


“Naturalistic” alternatives to a sand substrate!

The clay is mixed with water and made into a “mud paste” kind of texture. You then quickly mold it to make caves or holes, and as it dries it hardens. Little to no loose parts! Digging reptiles like monitors can tunnel through it as well.

I’ve never used it, but as far as I can tell it’s safe!

The sand mat is interesting. Mostly made to fit exo terra vivs (unfortunately) it is just like their reptile carpet BUT it has sand and small bits of rock glued to it. It’s one solid piece, no loose sand! I’ve felt it and it’s not sharp at all. Personally I think it’s amazing and if I ever had a beardie or leo I’d get this.