Agnes Martin quotes


I would like my work to be recognized as being in the classical tradition (Coptic, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese), as representing the Ideal in the mind. Classical art cannot possibly be eclectic. One must see the ideal in one's own mind. It is like a memory-an awareness-of perfection.
—Agnes Martin


Any material may be used but the theme is the same and the response is the same for all artwork... we all have the same concern, but the artist must know exactly what the experience is. He must pursue the truth relentlessly.


Art is the concrete representation of our most subtle feelings.


Happiness is being on the beam with life - to feel the pull of life.


My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.


To progress in life you must give up the things you do not like. Give up doing the things that you do not like to do. You must find the things that you do like. The things that are acceptable to your mind.


When I think of art I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.


Pollock was terrific. I think he freed himself of all kinds of worry about this world. Ran around and dripped, and then he managed to express ecstasy.


You can’t make a perfect painting. We can see perfection in our minds. But we can’t make a perfect painting.



There’s nobody living who couldn’t stand all afternoon in front of a waterfall .... Anyone who can sit on a stone in a field awhile can see my painting. Nature is like parting a curtain, you go into  it .... as you would cross an empty beach to look at the ocean.
It’s not about facts, it’s about feelings. It’s about remembering feelings and happiness.  A definition of art is that it makes concrete our most subtle emotions. I think the highest form of art is music. It’s the most abstract of all art expression.


I hope I have made it clear that the work is about perfection as we are aware of it in our minds but that the paintings are very far from being perfect — completely removed in fact — even as we ourselves are.


What we really want to do is serve happiness. We want everyone to be happy, never unhappy even for a moment. We want the animals to be happy. The happiness of every living thing is what we want.
When I think of art I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection.


I think our minds respond to things beyond this world. Take beauty: it’s a very mysterious thing, isn’t it?  I think it’s a response in our minds to perfection. It’s too bad, people not realizing that their minds expand beyond this world.


My paintings are certainly nonobjective. They’re just horizontal lines. There’s not any hint of nature. And still everybody responds, I think.

What I say is that we’re capable of a transcendent response, and I think it makes us happy. And I do think beauty produces a transcendent response.