India Today|June 08, 2020
In one of the new rabbit holes created by the lockdown, I stumbled upon the excellent series of videos made by Corey D’Augustine of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where he makes pictures while following the painting processes of different artists from the canon of modern Western art. Among the thick pigmented, turbo-elbowed methods of various male masters of the 20th century, D’Augustine spends one video examining the way American painter Agnes Martin created her body of work. It’s only when you see the things up close, or when someone like D’Augustine reminds you, do you note that the grids and straight bands are hand-drawn by Martin, using pencil or pen and rulers, producing all sorts of bumps, tiny detours and imperfections. It’s only when you spend some time with this quiet and challenging body of work, with your nose as close to the surface as the museum guards or your computer screen will allow, do you see that the underlying drama of Martin’s work involves the striving for a machinelike pattern by a human hand. Even in this flattest of painting styles, you are yet again brought face to face with the fact that drawings, prints and paintings are, actually, also sculptures, albeit usually very flat, almost two-dimensional ones.
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June 08, 2020