What’s Cooking: Agnes Martin
Agnes Bernice Martin (1912-2004) was an American-Canadian painter known for her pared down geometric abstractions. Her work has been defined as an “essay in discretion on inward-ness and silence”. Martin is often considered a minimalist and her work was influenced by Taoist and other eastern philosophies.
Like her art, her daily life and dietary habits were marked by restraint and simplicity. After she left the bustle of New York in the mid-1960s, she settled in the New Mexican desert. There, she lived a mostly solitary life, which she believed kept her mind clear and gave her more time and energy to paint. Her diet was not surprisingly simple and repetitive. One winter, she consumed only walnuts, hard cheeses, and preserved tomatoes grown in her garden; another season, she subsisted on a concoction of gelatin, orange juice, and bananas. In times of intense artistic output, her go to snack was bananas and coffee. As Martin entered her eighties, she began to loosen up, allowing herself the occasional martini.