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Agnes Martin: Between the Lines is a new edition of a documentary about the Canadian-American painter Agnes Martin produced in 2002 and directed by Leon d'Avigdor.

Agnes Martin is widely regarded as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. Her work is currently (2015/16) presented in a large exhibition organized by Tate Modern London in cooperation with Kunstsammlung NRW Duesseldorf (Germany), Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York. It is the first comprehensive show of her work since her death in 2004 ranging from early works of the 1950's to her final paintings. A recently published new biography by Nancy Princenthal also points to the ongoing and incresing interest in the extraordinary life and work of this artist.

Interviews with Agnes Martin and shots at work in her Taos Studio are cut against images of her paintings, archival footage, quotes from her writings and meditative sequences of the sea she loved so much.

The interviews center around Agnes Martin's deep insight to fundamental human experiences such as Love, Religion and Spirituality, Happiness, Friendship, Innocence and Death as well as various aspects of her life and art resp. the creative process.

It's the space between the lines that counts.

Agnes Martin in Agnes Martin: Between the Lines.

The visual style and editing rhythm of the film, supported by peaceful yet expressive music, reflect the contemplative simplicity and clarity of the artist's paintings. Interviews were shot against a black background with natural light only which allows the viewer to concentrate on the extraordinary charisma and radiance of Agnes Martin's eyes and face and the depth of her humanity and wisdom interweaved by sometimes childlike humor.

In the beginng there was only love. It filled the world. Love filled the world. It's pressing in on us, like air. That's my religion. Pretty short, isn't it? It suits me, I made it up myself.

Agnes Martin in Agnes Martin: Between the Lines.

Agnes Martin (Screenshot from the movie)

Main focus of the documentary is Agnes Martin's life and art as a path of transformation that eventually evolved into an 'egoless' state of total acceptance, needlessness and peace which was obvious for those who met her and can surely be sensed, too, by viewers of the movie. It becomes clear that the artist's paintings, emerging from contemplation and limited to a pre-defined size of the canvas and a certain vocabulary (mostly lines and spaces between them), and the related creative process are both carriers and results of this path. However, Agnes Martin tells us that nonetheless she did not regard her work as spiritual or mystical:"No, it's not spiritual. I'm simply painting concrete representations of abstract emotions". To her it was just a natural way of living and creating that does not require any label or definition beyond what it simply is. This corresponds with her outstanding humility and the simplicity of her life style exemplified by the fact that, despite her wealth, at the time when the interviews were shot her home was a barely furnished apartment in a modest retirement community in Taos.

Agnes Martin (Screenshots from the movie)

Agnes Martin: Between the Lines is, just as Agnes Martin's art, a deep journey 'towards the within' and unfolds the unique path she has chosen in her life and art. It allows its audience to embark on a contemplative encounter with an exraordinary artist and human being.

 

Approx. 60 Mins.
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Rating: Not Rated
Region Codes: 1 and 2

Credits:

Produced and directed by Leon d'Avigdor
Camera: Jessica d'Avigdor
Editing: Olga Richter
Sound: Martin Riegert
Music: Chris Zabriskie, Lee Rosevere, Leon d'Avigdor, Kai Engel and others
(c) 2002-2015 Leon d'Avigdor Film - All rights reserved

Screenings and Festivals:

Parts of a roughcut of the movie were screened for three months until March 6, 2016, at Kunstsammlung NRW Duesseldorf (Germany) as part of the accompanying program of the exhibition.

Semi-finalist at the 2016 Fine Arts Film Festival Santa Barbara (screening on July 17, 2016).

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About Company

Leon d'Avigdor Film is a film production company based in Munich, Germany, with a US representative office in Taos, New Mexico.

About Founder-Director Leon d'Avigdor

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