Agnes Martin was born in Canada in 1912 and studied at Western Washington College of Education in Bellingham, Washington, as well as Columbia University Teachers College, where she received a MA in art education. She lived for many years in New York before moving to New Mexico. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998. She is arguably one of the most important of the minimalist artists. In addition to having mastered a style based on limited palette, subtle tonalities, and handdrawn lines, Martin's studies of Buddhism and Taoism influenced her work, resulting in images that are highly spiritual in their purity and perfection.