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The Tree

Agnes Martin (American, born Canada, 1912–2004). The Tree, 1965. Acrylic and graphite on canvas, 72 x 72 inches (182.9 x 182.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1976 (K1976:2). © Estate of Agnes Martin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

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

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

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

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Agnes Martin

American, born Canada, 1912-2004

The Tree, 1965

acrylic and graphite on canvas

support: 72 x 72 inches (182.88 x 182.88 cm); framed: 72 5/8 x 72 9/16 x 1 1/2 inches (184.47 x 184.33 x 3.81 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1976

K1976:2

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, dated / reverse, upper right / "The Tree 1965" a. martin 72 x 72" acryllic

Provenance

the artist;
Nicholas Wilder Gallery;
sold to Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Rowan, Pasadena, California, February 3, 1966;
to Acquavella Galleries, Inc., January 1976;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery with funds provided by Seymour H. Knox, Jr., February 18, 1976

Class

Paintings
Drawings

Work Type

Acrylic painting (visual work)
Drawing (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Agnes Martin’s contemplative compositions are informed by her belief in the ability of art to invoke what she called “abstract emotions.” When asked how viewers should respond to her work, the artist compared the experience to looking at the ocean: “You just go there and sit and look.” In a reflective state, Martin drew freehand a series of graphite lines on her paintings. While her work is often compared to meditative or transcendent experiences, the artist insisted it is not about spirituality. Rather, she preferred that viewers see in her paintings the perfection and beauty of nature. Regarding the connection between the grid form and a tree, the artist explained, “I asked myself why do I like trees so much and this grid came as a visual image in my mind. After I had finished it I recognized it as representing the innocence of a tree. Later in my untitled work, most of my paintings are about innocence.”

Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018

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