You may have noticed that many images on Art UK, in fact nearly 1,000, have the terms ‘verso’ or ‘recto’ as part of their title. What does this mean?

Recto from the Latin rectum, meaning right or correct, and verso from versus, meaning turned or changed, are traditionally used to describe the front and back of a painting or drawing. The recto is the front or main image, the verso or back being a secondary image. So what sort of pictures have paintings on both sides?

Quietude  Quietude might be better suited than music for the art of Agnes Martin, but as the post-punks used to say: silence is a rhythm too. SEE handmade quality and subtle sense of detail where the ‘mistakes’ or ‘imperfections’ are what make it glow, what make it perfect.”

Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances (Phaidon), the artist wrote, “Artwork that is completely abstract—free from any expression of the environment—is like music and can be responded to in the same way. Our response to line and tone and color is the same as our response to sounds. And like music, abstract art is thematic. It holds meaning for us that is beyond expression in words.”

Martin herself favored less spectral sounds (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony was held especially dear), but the music was, in any case, monumental in her thinking about art. In jottings in a notebook reproduced in her dealer Arne Glimcher’s reverential tome Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances (Phaidon).

Description: Oil on canvas, stretched and framed. Featuring an abstract expressionist composition of grid lines. Signed A. Martin on the lower left corner on verso. Attributed to Agnes Martin (American-Canadian, 1912-2004). 40.5 x 36 cm (16.0 x 14.2 inches). Frame size: 43.5 x 39 cm (17.1 x 15.3 inches). PROVENANCE: Southern Ontario estate

Condition Report: All lots that do not carry established documented provenance nor any past record of auction history record are described in the catalog as attributed. 

All authorship of items in this catalog are described according to the following terms: 

Signed [Artist Name]: In cases in which the signature is legible in the lot, this work is described as-is with no attributions given. 

By [Artist Name]: The work is by the artist. 

Attributed to [Artist Name]: The work may be ascribed to the artist on the basis of style, but there may be some question as to actual authorship. 

In the manner of [Artist Name]: The work was executed by an unknown hand, but was designed deliberately to emulate the style of the artist. 

After [Artist Name]: The work was executed by an unknown hand, but is a deliberate copy of a known work by the artist. 

Circle of [Artist Name]: A work of the period of the artist showing his influence, closely associated with the artist but not necessarily his pupil. 

Follower of [Artist Name]: A work by a pupil or a follower of the artist (not necessarily a pupil). 

American, 19th century: This work was executed by an unknown hand, and can only be identified by origin (i.e., region, period).

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