Wednesday, October 5, 5:15
During the 1950s and 60s, Agnes Martin participated in the discourse of minimalism, particularly in circles where the so-called Zen properties of the practice were being actively explored. Her work first gained notoriety during her time spent among a group of queer artists and friends in New York City in the early 1960s. An analysis of Martin’s work through the lens of queer studies might offer nuanced and unique readings of the artist’s abstract work. Having described Martin as an “enlightened hermit,” Professor Katz will examine the artist’s use of Zen philosophy as a strategy for coping with her lesbian subjectivity, a reading that allows her work to function beyond the parameters of traditional minimalist discourse engaging spirituality and sexual agency.
Jonathan Katz is Associate Professor and Director of the Visual Studies Doctoral Program at the University at Buffalo.