The Islands–a 1979 group of 12 identically large square paintings–is a body of work especially suitable for gaining insight into the modalities of the visual in Agnes Martin’s work. An element that is common to all the canvases is the matte white color that absorbs the surrounding light but only partially radiates it back, as well as the structure of fine horizontal lines drawn in pencil. The reproductions of Martin’s work in this book are of the highest quality, especially in light of the fact that her pictures are generally not ideal for reproduction, as, according to the artist, they are light and luminous and deal with fusion and formlessness, i.e., the dissolution of form. In creating this work, Martin, in a certain sense, arrives almost to the point of borderline visibility. Essay by Heinz Liesbrock.