Taos' Best Architecture Series: Agnes Martin Room at the HarwoodMuseum

I have to confess: 1) I am NOT a modernist, and 2) I don't LOVE Agnes Martin with the wild abandon of local pride that it seems every Taoseno does. (Well, at least the 1/3 the population of more recent transplants, anyway...)

However, I do LOVE the modernist space created to house a series of white on white paintings she did that is housed in the Harwood Museum of Art.

My husband giving the room scale
The space is an exceptional example of scale and roundness (the roundness an illusion created by the octagonal sides that allow for hanging pictures on flat walls). The dramatic architecture further unfolds with white on white paintings on a white background, wood floors that make the space feel more texturally rich... and the oculus. Oh, the oculus! It is exquisite - simple and elegant... In a way, the space is a minaturized, stripped down, modernized, version of the Pantheon in Rome. Minus the more subtle sacred geometry, classical details (after all it wouldn't be modernist with those, would it?), and astronomical references.

The Anges Martin Gallery is a place people are naturally attracted to - I think partly because the scale is anthropomorphic and proportional, and partly because a wash of white makes the room seem "empty" until you realize there's more to it - the combination of elements creates a tension that demands exploration - and that is SEXY architecture!

Whatever the reason, the space is wonderful, and, as part of the Harwood... is on my list of "don't miss" spots in Taos. Any reason to get to the Harwood is a great one. The museum is a treasure, architecturally and artfully.