White Flower


Oil on canvas

25.4 × 25.4 cm (10 × 10 in.)

With great formal purity, white squares alternating with bare canvas harmoniously fit into a frame in a mise en abyme. Only a subtle grid on the central square’s surface alters the composition’s flatness.

Canadian-American artist Agnes Martin's square colour field paintings are more abstract expressionism than ascetic minimalism. "Everything", she says, "can be painted without representation." In the late 1950s the artist began applying grids, which she created freehand, to monochromes or basic geometric patterns, leaving room for variations and accidents. The rhythms thus change from one work to another.

White Flower, which is in the Pinault Collection, was exhibited during the 2019 group show "Luogo e Segni" ("Place and Signs") at the Punta della Dogana.