Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Tender Spots - Agnes Martin

First posted, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2009 - Agnes Martin

Agnes as a young artist

Agnes late in life

"Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be. I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step." - Agnes Martin

Agnes Martin (March 22, 1912 – December 16, 2004) was a Canadian-American painter, often referred to as a minimalist; Martin considered herself an abstract expressionist. - Wiki

What a statement of faith.

Love, compassion, forgiveness. Prayers for healing.

The Tender Spots

The tender spot's found
in between
the dark and day
or day's end and night,

or in between me
you dancing in twilight
lit by rosy flame.

You said eternal
is found in us. I said
Yes, within our hearts,

In the tender spots.

February 25, 2009 5:03 PM

Here are two of Agnes' minimalist works


  1. This is truly beautiful in its rhythm and simple softness, and quite fitting for Agnes' simple minimalist work, which I find very appealing as well.

    It's so nice to meet you, Christopher. I think so very highly of Elisabeth and Erin (and Dusti - who - also). These simple threads we weave around the world are making a wonderful fabric.

  2. "That which seems like a false step is the next step."

    yes, yes~

    I think of a baby's head, the not fully formed and fused skull. Yes, where we stay soft, eternal life, hope. Beautiful poem, Christopher.


  3. She sounded like a wise woman. Eternal life is found in love I think. Lovely poem.

  4. Ruth, that is so right. I would be amazed at these global connections if I were looking at it from 1983. We take so much about this for granted now. There are so many people now "following their bliss".

    Erin, that's a beautiful thought, that which permits birth is the flexible unfinished skull and birth permits the primary love bond of mother and child, thus the tender spot is the source of our ability to experience of love.

    Lilith, I don't know if it is found in love in the sense that love causes it, this eternal life, but I know there is no eternal life without it. I wonder if there is any love without eternal life.

  5. These abstract expressionist women who I'm discovering about - Joan Mitchell, Genevieve Asse, and now Agnes Martin, seem to have a certain quality about them, very strong and wise and solid and very much themselves, apparently free from the histrionics of the stereotypical artistic temperament and rampant ego. I think I'd like to be one of them when I grow up.

    I love your poem side by side with her words and paintings too.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!