Agnes Martin Gallery
The Agnes Martin Gallery at the Harwood Museum of Art of the University of New Mexico is an octagonal gallery with an oculus installed overhead with four Donald Judd benches placed directly beneath. The gallery, designed according to Martin’s wishes, accommodates the artist's gift of seven large paintings made between 1993 and 1994. These works were created when Agnes Martin returned to Taos. Frequently visiting the gallery, Martin would sit on one of the benches made by her good friend and quietly take in the space and paintings. Scholars have compared the Agnes Martin Gallery to the Matisse Chapel in Venice, Corbusier's Chapel of Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston.
Agnes Martin (1912-2004), one of America’s foremost abstract painters, worked during a pivotal time in American art. Martin’s work is often placed in the Minimalist camp because of its close association with work by other Minimalist artists; Martin resisted this label, insisting that she was an Abstract Expressionist painter. Martin was passionate about conveying emotional content rather than concepts. Her unaffected striving for inspired inner truth, beauty and perfection places her within the aesthetic of Abstract Expressionism. Apart from the Harwood’s collection of Agnes Martin paintings, only the Whitney Museum of American Art owns a series by Martin meant to be exhibited together. Jina Brenneman, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions