Kenneth Martin was for me one of the grand old masters of Constructivism. Outside England hardly known, but considered by many of great influence and importance. His best works for me are his prints in which he excels. His wife Mary was a gifted artist too and from both www.ftn-books.com has some nice publications. I only know of one exhibition outside Great Britain, which is the Bottrop exhibition but when you see one announced , i strongly recommend a visit to discover yourself the importance of Kenneth Martin.
Yesterday i spoke about the Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop and their excellent poster publications. Today i will present the very best of them. It is the magnificent Agnes Martin poster for the “the ISLANDS’ exhibition. Executed as an original silkscreen this poster is a true work of art.
The 3rd blog on a female artist. Tate, Moma, Lacma, Guggenheim, Centre Pompidou, Stedelijk Museum…..They all have in common that they have a work or works by Agnes Martin in their Permanent collections. Martin is considered by most as a Minimal artist but she herself thinks more of herself as an abstract expressionist painter. Anyway ,she is absolutely one of the most important and original artists from the 20th century. Personally i think her paintings have a unique quality. More Minimal than abstract, but made with a technique that is typical Agnes Martin. The Guardian says the following on Martin.
A late starter, Martin kept on going, working at the height of her powers right through her 80s; a stocky figure with apple cheeks and cropped silver hair, dressed in overalls and Indian shirts. She produced the last of her masterpieces a few months before her death in 2004, at the grand old age of 92. But she was also so deeply ambivalent about pride and success and the ego-driven business of making a name for yourself that in the 1960s she abandoned the art world altogether, packing up her New York studio, giving away her materials and disappearing in a pickup truck, surfacing 18 months later on a remote mesa in New Mexico.
When she returned to painting in 1971, the grids had gone, replaced by horizontal or vertical lines, the old palette of grey and white and brown giving way to glowing stripes and bands of very pale pink and blue and yellow. “Sippy cup colours”, the critic Terry Castle once called them, and their titles likewise address states of pre-verbal, infantile bliss. Little Children Loving Love, I Love the Whole World, Lovely Life, even Infant Response to Love. And yet these images of absolute calm did not arise from a life replete with love or ease, but rather out of turbulence, solitude and hardship. Though inspired, they represent an act of dogged will and extreme effort, and their perfection is hard-won.
Martin’s work is in museums and collections across the world, and changes hands for millions of dollars at a time. All the same, she hasn’t achieved quite the renown of her mostly male contemporaries in abstraction, partly because the subtleties of her paintings are almost impossible to reproduce in print.
I think there is one exception. the excellent poster that was an original silkscreen for the Quadrat Bottrop exhibition. It is still available at www.ftn-books.com
I have visited this museum 5 times in a period of over 15 years and on every occasion i was impressed with the excellent publications they have for sale. Their program is simple….. They publish with every exhibition one large poster, if possible an extremely well designed catalogue and if the artist cooperates they publish a special print in a signed , numbered and limited edition. Because of this simple but effective publication program their publications are highly recognizable and are among the best in Germany/ Europe. I really like their publications…you must have guessed that…but what is more, i collected many of these beautiful posters and books over the years and bought extra copies to sell and these are now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
so please have a look at these below to get an impression and search on my site for Albers, Bottrop or Quadrat and you will get the complete overview of all available.
Agnes Martin has become one of the greats in Modern Art from the last Fifty years. In 1977 the Stedelijk Museum published an excellent catalogue in which the quality of painting was obvious. Beautiful and impressive design by Wim Crouwel and one that is in worldwide demand because of its design and subject. Since then many catalogues were published on Martin but 2 stand out. The first is the one which was published for the Agnes Martin exhibition in the Josef Albers Museum / Quadrat Bottrop. The catalogue was published in such an excellent way that i had to have one myself for my own collection. The poster is even more special because it is an original silkscreen print in such delicate colour scheme that it reflects in the best way the quality of the work by Agnes Martin. The final book i would like to tell about is the Thomas Ammann Fine Art catalogue they published in 2008. Large sized book with excellent printing and impressive paintings by Martin. Buy these three titles at www.ftn-books.com and do not forget to take a look at the impressive poster made for the Quadrat exhibition when i will list this later this month at www.ftn-books.com.