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Agnes Martin on not thinking


Chuck Smith and Sono Kuwayama interview Agnes Martin in Taos, New Mexico in November 1997. She talks about inspiration, not thinking, slams “artists today” and conceptual art a little bit. She is delightfully weird. I’ve transcribed the first part below:

“There’s so many people that don’t know what they want, and I think that in this world that’s the only thing you have to know: exactly what you want most. Now I paint with my back to the world. It took me 20 years to paint completely non-objective, not about this world…The best things in life happen to you when you’re old. All the revelations. Every day for 20 years I would say ‘what I’m going to do next?’ That’s how I asked for inspiration. I don’t have any ideas myself. I have a vacant mind in order to do what the inspiration calls for. And I don’t start to paint until after I have an inspiration, and after I have it I make up my mind that I’m not going to interfere, not have any ideas.”

Another favorite quote: “Someone asked me once what is my happiest moment while painting. And I said, the happiest moment is when they go out the door.”

Watch the full interview below:

*Image of Agnes Martin via Pace Gallery