Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

Drawing the Line: The Early Work of Agnes Martin A free “First Friday” lecture

New Mexico History Museum

October 24, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—October 24, 2016 (Santa Fe, NM): At 5:30 pm on Friday, November 4, Albuquerque author Christina Rosenberger will speak about artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004), an iconic figure in 20th century art with a continuing artistic legacy in New Mexico.

Canadian born, Martin started to make a name for herself in the New York art scene in the late 1950s and early 1960s, but in 1967, abandoned her career for a reclusive life in the New Mexico desert. She did not return to her work for nearly a decade. Rosenberger’s talk focuses on Martin’s formative years in New Mexico and the decisive impact New Mexico had on Martin’s iconic grid paintings in the early 1960s. 

Rosenberger’s new book, Drawing the Line: The Early Work of Agnes Martin (University of California Press, 2016), explores how the rapidly evolving creative processes and pictorial solutions Martin developed between 1940 and 1967 define all her subsequent art. It also traces New Mexico’s role as a vibrant creative center in the middle of the 20th century, tracing the networks of art, artists, and information that moved between New Mexico, New York, and California in the postwar period.

Christina Rosenberger is an art historian who specializes in the materials and techniques of 20th-century artists. She received a master’s degree in modern art and curatorial studies from Columbia University in 2004, and her PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University in 2014. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Center for the Advanced Study of the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, the Harvard University Art Museums, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As the Research Coordinator at the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art at the Harvard Art Museums, she worked on the acquisition of the Barnett Newman Collection of Studio Materials and Related Ephemera as well as the recent exhibition Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals. In addition to Drawing the Line, her other recent publications on Agnes Martin include an essay on Martin’s film Gabriel in Artforum (Summer 2015) and an essay in the Tate’s retrospective catalogue for Agnes Martin (June 2015). She will be available for book signing.

First Friday attendees will also have the opportunity to visit Agnes Martin and Me, a concurrent exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum. Several years after Martin began creating art again, New Mexico photographer Donald Woodman met her and remained a fixture in her life from 1977 through 1984. The exhibit accompanies his new book, Agnes Martin and Me (Lyon Art Books; May 2016), which reveals the raw, unveiled person he knew in the seven rollercoaster years of their constant contact. The exhibit consists of about 20 photographs, including ones of Martin’s Galisteo residence and others from their 1978 river excursion through the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Phone number for publication: 505-476-5200

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Media contact:
Shelley Thompson, PR Manager, Museum of New Mexico

The New Mexico History Museum, 113 Lincoln Avenue, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is part of a campus that includes the Palace of the Governors, a National Treasure and the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States; the Fray Angélico Chávez History Library; the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives; the Press at the Palace of the Governors; and the Native American Artisans Program. A division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, its exhibitions and programs are supported by the Museum of New Mexico Foundation. 

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