A beautifully produced volume of the late Agnes Martin's prose, with illustrations of the artist's work. The writing is as spacious and serene as the paintings. Deeply reminiscent of Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet, the book contains much advice for aspiring "art workers". Martin didn't turn on a TV or look at a newspaper for the last 50 years of her life, believing that an untroubled mind was necessary to create true, timeless artwork. Recently out of print, used copies are currently quite expensive, I purchased this one when the book was new at Ursus for $25.
"We have been very strenuously conditioned against solitude. To be alone is considered to be a grievous and dangerous condition. So I beg you to recall in detail any times when you were alone and discover your exact response at those times.
I suggest to artist that you take every opportunity of being alone, that you give up having pets and unnecessary companions.
You will find the fear that we have been taught is not just one fear but many fears.
When you discover what they are they will be overcome.
Most people have never been alone enough to feel these fears.
But even without the experience of them they dread them.
I suggest that people who like to be alone, who walk alone will perhaps be serious workers in the art field."