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Agnes Martin on not thinking


#1

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