Tipperary author Henry Martin's book on iconic US artist receives acclaim

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Tipperary author Henry Martin's book on iconic US artist receives acclaim

The cover of Henry Martin's book on Agnes Martin, Pioneer, Painter, Icon

Nenagh author Henry Martin has won acclaim for his latest publication dealing with the life and times of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Agnes Martin.

Neither is related, with Agnes coming from Canada, and going on to become a leading abstract painter before she abandoned her calling for a number of years.

Henry, from Melrose, Nenagh, has spent the past four years researching Agnes's story, which is published this month. Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon, features revelatory accounts of the artist’s early life, combined with unpublished photographs from Martin’s family and friends.

The work has been acclaimed by reviewers, with The Art Newspaper describing it as “an extraordinarily vivid and intimate portrait of one of the most enigmatic personalities of postwar US art”.

Previously with head of Zeus and Phaidon Press, Henry's plays have featured at Project Arts Centre, Roundhouse, Underbelly, Arcola, Theatre503, and The Belltable; his fiction and poetry is published in Ireland, Mexico, USA and UK, and he has written on art and books for Soho House and Phaidon Press, where he worked in editorial and rights.

He has a BA in English and Philosophy from the National University of Ireland, Galway, an MA in Playwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London, and he is pursuing an MA (Res) in art history at the University of Buckingham and the National Gallery, London, with a Tavolozza Foundation Scholarship. His limited edition book Yappo (2017) received a Tipperary Artists Award.

Henry is an Emily Harvey Foundation resident, and was researcher on, and narrator of, the award-winning documentary Agnes Martin: Before The Grid (2016).

Henry will give a talk on Agnes Martin in the Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, on June 20. The gallery bought Agnes's painting, Untitled #7, for £23,000 amid controversary in 1980. It would be valued at up to $6m today.