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[Perspectives] Agnes Martin: the fragility of innocence

Innocence is a peculiarly under-explored human characteristic. Prized in the context of childhood, it is usually viewed with ambivalence in adult life. This negativity arises in part from confusing innocence with naivety or gullibility, which might in turn stem from lazy etymological conjecture: the Latin origin refers to “not harming” rather than “not knowing”. On reflection, innocence can be viewed as a desirable state that embodies purity, idealism, and freshness while resisting cynicism.