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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Winter Yellow

Photo: Elizabeth Mann

Winter Yellow

ca. 1952

Agnes Martin

American, 1912 - 2004

Agnes Martin arrived in the state of Washington from her native Canada in 1931, attracted by what she called the "American character." She studied in Bellingham before moving to New York, settling in New Mexico in the early 1950s. Winter Yellow is a rare glimpse into Martin's early career, since she destroyed most of that period's work; it typifies her interest during this stage in abstract, floating biomorphic shapes inspired by nature, seemingly floating upon thin atmospheric washes of paint. Her artistic goal was to help establish a distinct and authentic national art, representing "the expression of the American people." By 1958, Martin had begun to move away from these organic forms towards the geometry and grid structures that remain central to her work even today.

Watercolor on paper
5 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. (14.6 x 21.0 cm), image and sheet size
Gift of Margaret Smith
Provenance: The artist; gift from the artist to her niece, Margaret Smith, Port Townsend, WA; gift from Ms. Smith to Seattle Art Museum, December 31, 1984
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "Elles: SAM - Singular Works by Seminal Women Artists," October 06, 2012 - February 17, 2013

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, "International Abstraction: Making Painting Real", May 2, 2003 - February 29, 2004

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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