Today's column offers a trio of quotes, among many others I've marked, from photographer Sally Mann's memoir Hold Still (Little, Brown, 2015), Nancy Princenthal's biography Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art (Thames & Hudson, 2015), and Annie Cohen-Solal's biography Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel (Yale University Press, 2015). I read all three books recently and recommend them to anyone interested in these artists' lives.
✦ ". . . a sense of disappointment and defeat is the essential state of mind for creative work." ~ Agnes Martin, quoted in Agnes Martin (page 258) from Martin's "On the Perfection Underlying Life" in Writings (page 68).
✦ ". . . when we allow snapshots or mediocre photographic portraits to represent us, we find they not only corrupt memory, they also have a troubling power to distort character and mislead posterity." ~ Sally Mann, quoted from Hold Still (page 308).
✦ Mark Rothko ". . . aimed to offer the public not just a painting but also a whole environment, not a simple visit but a true experience, not a fleeting moment but a genuine revelation. This compelled him to innovate. . . ." Annie Cohen-Solal, quoted from "The Long-Awaited Chapel" in Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel (page 193).
Agnes Martin (1912-2004) at Pace Gallery
Mark Rothko (1903-1970) at The Art Story
Annie Cohen-Solal Website (The Website includes a number of interesting videotaped interviews with Cohen-Solal, whose biography of Rothko was first published in 2013 in French.)