acrylic paint and graphite on canvas
support: 1525 x 1525 x 40 mm
frame: 1545 x 1545 x 50 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Tate and National Galleries of Scotland
In the early 1970s Agnes Martin began to create square paintings with pastel-coloured washes. The works are characterised by the artist’s use of (mostly horizontal) bands of luminous colour divided by hand-drawn lines. Martin used a ruler and masking tape to guide her hand in drawing the lines. Happy Holiday 1999 is a late example of these paintings. The canvas is divided into fourteen horizontal bands of equal width, alternating between a pale blue and a light peach colour. The top band and the bottom two bands are pale blue. When examined closely, fine graphite pencil lines that divide the colour fields are visible. Martin primed the canvas with an opaque coating of white acrylic gesso, which is not fully covered by the subsequent layers of colour. This gives the painting a vibrant luminosity – indeed, it reminds me of a ‘happy holiday’ in summer time.
-- Lena Fritsch, curator