Breath in breath out…

Expansive, communicative, tactile, exploratory and daringly colourful; wonderfully in tune with the contemporaries of her time; the Sonia Delaunay exhibition at Tate Modern is well worth a visit. .She was a prolific artist producing work well into her 90’s always pushing her own boundaries as well as being an inspiration to those working alongside her. Watching the helicopters wheeling overhead, taking a break for coffee I thought that my friend and I had saved the best for last though in choosing to see the Agnes Martin second. .This other great artist of the late 20th century is being shown in an exhibition running concurrently with the Delaunay. Sadly I was to be disappointed.

The work of Agnes Martin is intense and quiet by comparison but the decision to include so many works only served to make the show cold, alienating and overwhelmingly suffocating. Martin suffered from schizophrenia and it felt as though much of her life was spent obsessively trying to order her world through her work. White, grey, pale yellows, blue and orange; the colours of washed sheets and institutional walls. And pencil lines, ruled carefully (very carefully) over and over again. This was a closed world into which I intruded and although I loved some of her earlier and smaller works I was glad to escape out into the fresh air.


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