Agnes Martin, The Beautiful Rose

Agnes Martin, The Beautiful Rose

Agnes Martin (1912 - 2004), was a Canadian artist well known for her use of square canvases, pastel colours and geometric lines and shapes. The above painting is titled ‘Untitled’ #5.

Not all of Agnes’ works have a particular story to them but it’s the moment she shared with her art-dealer’s 11-year old niece that can teach us all a little something about beauty.

Agnes noticed that this girl was enamoured by a blossoming rose in one of her vases. Agnes asked the girl if she thought the rose was beautiful. Of course, she said. Then she placed the rose behind her back and asked if she still thought the rose was beautiful. The girl nodded. ‘You see, the beauty of the rose isn’t in the rose at all, it’s in your mind’ Agnes explained.

Agnes certainly has a point here. I think we often forget that when it comes to art or anything for that matter, beauty isn’t always tangible or what we literally see on a canvas. Instead, just like the memory of the rose, beauty is in our reaction to it and the way it makes us feel.

- Sidedish Projects

Back to blog