Summer Reading Recommendations and More


I saw an Agnes Martin painting in person for the first time last month at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. My sisters were with me, and from afar we joked that it was “a painting of nothing.” Up close, however, the painting—entitled “Wind”—is full of detail. Large and square—nearly 6 feet by 6 feet—“Wind” consists of faint pencil rectangles on a pale yellowish canvas. It’s calming. It makes you want to take a deep breath and be quiet for a while.

I became fascinated with Martin’s work after listening to an episode of “The Great Women Artists Podcast” in which Katy Hessel interviews the director of Tate Modern, Frances Morris. After that, I found the book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art by Nancy Princenthal. The book depicts an intriguing life of contradictions—solitude and deep friendship, privacy and ambition. Martin is a giant in the world of abstract minimalist art, and although her work speaks for itself, knowing more about her life can inform her work in beautiful ways. I recommend Agnes Martin to new and longtime art lovers and to anyone who appreciates a good minimalist “painting of nothing.”

For more book recommendations, find a handful of WSBA member suggestions on page 34. There are books on law, business, and social justice, and genres ranging from science fiction to poetry. There’s also a bonus section of books written by WSBA members, recommended by WSBA members.

Also in this issue: a recap of the 2021 legislative session (page 30); an article about LASR, a group of Pierce County lawyers fighting against systemic racism (page 42); tips for counseling a client on whether to file an appeal (page 38); a new and improved Beyond the Bar Number complete with an illustration of the member featured (page 64); and more. (If you’d like to fill out a Beyond the Bar Number questionnaire and see your face illustrated on the page, email 

About the author

Kirsten Abel is the editor of Washington State Bar News.