Here’s an intriguing documentary about the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944).
Her work was ahead of its time, but didn’t get the same level of interest as her eventual peer Wassily Kandinsky. Despite predating his efforts by many years.
Beyond the Visible—Hilma af Klint
The documentary is by German director Halina Dyrschka. It launched in 2019. In 2021, it began enjoying a wider international release.
Right, the documentary explores and life and works of Hilma af Klint.
She was a secret artist, who teamed up with other female artists in private as part of The Five.
Inspired by the religion Theosophy, they were convinced they could get in contact with the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom.
When not busy painting, she’d perform séances with The Five. And this belief clearly had an influence on her work.
While exploring the life of Hilma af Klint, the documentary questions why she disappeared into obscurity.
An abstract artist before it was even a thing, she was way ahead of the likes of Wassily Kandinsky with her work.
She’d been an artist for 20 years when, in 1906, she began trying out abstract concepts. Often what appear as diagrams, although they’re all inspired by her spiritual ideas.
Although some of her works were more complex, such as The Swan (1910).
After the Guggenheim Museum ran a retrospective on her career, questions were asked in the art community as to why she’d become forgotten.
The museum ran the exhibition in 2016, bringing her back into the limelight for the first time in decades.
Beyond the Visible’s director, Halina Dryschka, argues there was a process of mischaracterisation and erasure of the artist’s work.
And this was completed by a socioeconomic and patriarchal narrative. As well as the nature of capitalism and art, which determines an artists’ value.
It’s a rather fascinating documentary. You’ll discover the life and works of a mysterious, highly talented women from a different era.
You’ll also consider the nature of the art industry. If we someone as brilliant as af Klint can disappear without trace, who else has the world lost to obscurity?
Add into that the chance to discover some fantastic new art and you have a winning documentary with a fascinating edge.
Its aim was to put the record straight and bring light back onto this excellent work. And Beyond the Visible does just that.