Agnes Martin, Red Bird

Agnes Martin - Red Bird, 1964 - Pencil, Ink on paper - 30x31cm

Agnes Martin – Red Bird, 1964 – Pencil, Ink on paper – 30x31cm

Been thinking about Agnes Martin recently – and the relation between an artist’s biography and the artwork. As viewers I think there is an impulse to reveal and know the artist behind the artwork. There is an impulse to believe that when we feel a connection with artwork, we are connecting to it’s maker. For now I’d like to put forth an idea that the biography of the artist is largely irrelevant because whatever the art awakens is already within us. Even in our impulses to reveal the artist, all we uncover is a story, with this story we attempt to identify with parts of ourselves. What I’m trying to say is that art occurs through us, or, what art is capable of is beyond the limits of any one person, whether artist or viewer. The best artists are the ones that can become the most empty. There is a shared ghost beyond our identities, the part of us that shares this ghost is the part of us that is aware of perfection, that is capable of love and connection, nostalgia for a time one never lived in, love of someone one will never meet.

About Michael Johnson

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