MODERN FILMS presents BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT directed by HALINA DYRSCHKA – THE FIRST FILM ABOUT THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE VISIONARY ABSTRACT PAINTER
UK & Ireland General Release 9 October 2020 (First released in Germany in 2019)
93 Min English/German/Swedish with English subtitles
“Beyond the Visible” bristles with the excitement of discovery and also with the impatience that recognition has taken so long. It refreshes the eyes and the mind.” – A.O Scott, The New York Times
“A must for anyone who cares about modern art.” – Hollywood Reporter
“Halina Dyrschka’s debut feature is one of the best films I’ve seen about fine art. It casts an entrancing spell that allows the staggering depth of its subject’s work to consume us.” Matt Fagerholm, Rogerebert.com
To read a review by The Guardian – 6th October 2020 – ‘They called her a crazy witch’: did medium Hilma af Klint invent abstract art?
MODERN FILMS announces the UK & Ireland release of BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA
AF KLINT, the first film about the life of the pioneering Swedish abstract artist Hilma Af Klint. The debut feature-length documentary directed by Halina Dyrschka, the film comes to cinemas from 9 October 2020, alongside a programme of special online events and digital screenings.
HILMA AF KLINT (1862–1944) was an abstract artist before the term existed: a visionary, trailblazing artist inspired by spiritualism, modern science and the riches of the natural world. As early as 1906, she was radically experimenting with abstract imagery, several years before Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, who are still regarded as the forerunners of 20th-century abstract art. Largely forgotten after her death, her sidelining from patriarchal art historical discourse has been the subject of much recent debate. With her radiant and transcendent body of work – featuring over 1,200 paintings and 26,000 notebooks – remaining hidden away for decades, a long-overdue rediscovery has come in recent years, with her stunning, large-scale works the subject of blockbuster exhibitions including a record-breaking retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2018-2019 and acclaimed exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery (2016) and Camden Arts Centre (2006) in the UK.
BEYOND THE VISIBLE is the first film about Klint’s life and work, chronicling her pioneering artistic practice and mystical view of the world, from the beginning of her career at Stockholm’s Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, to her involvement in Theosophy, spiritualist and occult movements, including joining “The Five”, a group of female artists who conducted séances which lead to experiments with automatic writing and drawing, pre-dating the Surrealists by several decades.
A RADICAL PIONEER of an art that abandoned the depiction of visible reality, the artist opened doors to new horizons at the beginning of the twentieth century, even stipulating that her own work should not be shown for 20 years following her death, convinced the world was not yet ready to understand her art. Dissatisfied with af Klint’s absence from the art historical canon, Dyrschka’s film reveals the importance of the artist’s legacy, demanding a reevaluation of Modernism’s evolution and calling into question the broader conveniences of art history, how it is documented and for who’s benefit.
INTERVIEWEES in the film include Hilma af Klint’s relatives, including Ulla af Klint – wife of Hilma‘s nephew Erik Ulla, who met Klint in her early 20s in Stockholm, the footage of which is the only existing interview on film with someone who knew Hilma af Klint during her lifetime. Offering insights into her pioneering practice and the context of her legacy, commentary also comes from notable art world figures, including art critic and historian Julia Voss; acclaimed American sculptor Josiah McElheny; and leading Klint curator Iris Müller-Westermann, Director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm.
For more press information about BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT see the Modern Films website where you are able to view the trailer and find out more information on cinemas, cultural partners and special events for this film.
ABOUT the Director
Halina Dyrschka was born in Berlin, Germany and is active as a director and producer. After studying acting, classical singing and film production she founded the company AMBROSIA FILM in Berlin. Her first film as a director the short film “9andahalf’s Goodbye” was shown at over 40 film festivals worldwide and has won several awards. BEYOND THE VISIBLE: HILMA AF KLINT marks her directorial feature documentary debut and is the first and only film on the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
ABOUT THE DISTRIBUTOR – Modern Films
Modern Films is a London-based, female-led film production, distribution and event cinema agency. Established in 2017 with a mandate to work on stories that address social issues head-on through film and media content, they launched with the Event Cinema release of Manifesto starring Cate Blanchett and with Executive Production on the BAFTA-winning I am Not a Witch. They focus on A-list festival competitors, critically acclaimed titles and international award winners. Highlights of their slate include Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro, Iciar Bollain’s Yuli: The Carlos Acosta Story and documentary Shooting the Mafia by Kim Longinotto, as well as this year’s The Perfect Candidate by Haifaa Al Mansour, White Riot by Rubika Shah, about the Rock Against Racism movement in the 1970s and that won Best Documentary at the BFI London Film Festival and Zeina Durra’s Luxor starring Andrea Riseborough. They have developed a virtual screening platform that links up with theatrical exhibition as a direct response to the COVID-19 lockdown and cinema closures. Winner Highly Commended Distributor of the Year at the Screen International Awards.
HILMA AF KLINT EXHIBITIONS EXHIBITIONS DURING HER LIFETIME
1906 Art- and Industrial Exposition, Norrköping, Sweden.
1907 Art- and Industrial Exposition, Lund, Sweden.
1911 Swedish Female Artists. Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm.
1914 The Baltic Exhibition, Malmö, Sweden. Artists from the Nordic countries, from Balticum, Germany and Russia take part in the exhibition. The Russian exhibition shows the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky.
1928 Friends House World Conference of Spiritual Art, London, UK This was the first exhibition of Hilma af Klint’s abstract paintings. (All the exhibitions prior had been of her naturalistic paintings).
EXHIBITIONS Since her death in 1944
1986 The Spiritual in Art The Los Angeles County Museum of Art This was the first time that any of Hilma af Klint’s oeuvre had been shown anywhere in the world in the 42 years since her death.
1989 The Secret Pictures by Hilma af Klint MoMA, PS 1, New York, USA. January 15 – March 12, 1989
1991 – 1992 Okkultismus und Abstraktion Die Malerin Hilma af Klint (Occultism and Abstraction of the Painter Hilma af Klint) Albertina, Wien, Austria. November 28, 1991 – February 2, 1992 Kulturhaus der Stadt Graz, Austria. February 22 – March 29, 1992 Museum Moderner Kunst, Passau, Germany. April 30 – July 19, 1992
1999 – 2000 Målningarna till Templet (The Paintings for the Temple) Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm. October 30, 1999 – January 09, 2000 Wäinö Aaltonens Museum, Åbo / Turku, Finland. January 26 – March 26, 2000
2006 An Atom in the Universe Camden Arts Centre, London, UK. February 17 – April 16, 2006
2013- 2015 Hilma af Klint – abstrakt pionjär (Hilma af Klint – A Pioneer of Abstraction) Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm. This was the exhibition that rocked the art world. Also shown in Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo, Norway KUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark Helsingfors Konsthall, Sweden Museo Picasso, Malaga, Spain Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
2016 Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen Serpentine Galleries, London, UK. March 03 – May 15, 2016 2018 Hilma af Klint – Mundos Possiveis [Hilma af Klint : Possible Worlds] Associacao Pinacoteca Arte e Cultura – APAC, São Paulo, Brazil.
2018 – 2019 Hilma af Klint : Paintings for the Future Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA. October 12, 2018 – April 23, 2019 (167 paintings and 7 notebooks)
2020 The Hilma af Klint Room Permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm
Text and images taken from the press release. Credit: Film poster by Modern Films