10/23: Seeing Things: The Sexuality of Abstraction: Agnes Martin

For Seeing Things, a symposium on October 23rd at the Art Institute of Chicago, “Noted art historians honor their mentor scholar S. Hollis Clayson.”

Scheduled talks include Jonathan Katz, “The Sexuality of Abstraction: Agnes Martin.”  An abstract is on the Buffalo website:

While some have sought to recuperate her metaphysics in art historical terms through an equally mystical phenomenological account of the work (e.g., Rosalind Krauss), few have sought to historicize and contextualize Martin’s deployment of mysticism. A broader social-historical accounting is clearly called for, and queer studies offers a powerful new tool for understanding the utility of the spiritual in Martin’s oeuvre. This paper marries phenomenology, Zen Buddhism, Gertrude Stein, Freud and Nietzsche towards explicating how Martin’s lesbianism structured her turn, late in life,  toward an art of geometric abstraction.