But as the poet and critic John Ashbery has pointed out, Agnes Martin's "minimalism" is not merely reductive; it is the result of a slow, thoughtful distillation. Never purely mechanical (as the grid form would suggest) or impersonal, it is her form of expressionist painting. Although in her works she has seemed to be seeking the classical ideal of perfection in pure geometry, she has often asserted, in essays and in interviews, that she does not paint "scientific discoveries or philosophies" but what she has called "the holiday state of mind." However it is defined, her paintings give an ineffable pleasure to those who allow themselves the time to absorb the subtle nuances of line and tonalities that make complex networks of seemingly simple geometric patterns. As the Artforum critic Lizzie Borden put it, they demand "a higher degree of consciousness as the response of the viewer to almost invisible events."