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Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World (2003)

A groundbreaking documentary on the internationally renowned painter, designated by ARTnews Magazine one of the world's top-ten living artists. This documentary was shot over a period of ... See full synopsis »

Director:

Mary Lance

Star:

Agnes Martin
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Cast

Credited cast:
Agnes Martin Agnes Martin ... Herself
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Storyline

A groundbreaking documentary on the internationally renowned painter, designated by ARTnews Magazine one of the world's top-ten living artists. This documentary was shot over a period of four years, from 1998 through 2002, Agnes Martin's ninetieth year. Interviews with Martin are inter-cut with shots at work in her studio in Taos, New Mexico, with photographs and archival footage, and with images of her work from over five decades. It is a venue for Martin to speak about her work, her working methods, her life as an artist, and her views about the creative process. She also discusses her film, "Gabriel" and reads from her poetry and lectures. In keeping with Martin's chosen life of solitude, she alone appears in the documentary.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 January 2007 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$175,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

New Deal Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Great interview with a successful but elusive artist
27 April 2010 | by xWRLSee all my reviews

Whether you're charmed or not by Agnes Martin's paintings, which mostly consist of horizontal lines on 5'x5' or 6'x6' canvases, you may wonder what ideas lurk behind them. This hour-long monologue by the artist answers that question most satisfyingly. Filmed in her studio, relaxed but also very pointedly, Martin talks about waiting for an inspiration to come. She's big on intuitions and inspirations, which she trusts much more than facts and ideas. Along the way she explains why she was sometimes mistaken for a minimalist even though she considered herself the last of the abstract expressionists.

After thriving with fellow artists including Ellsworth Kelly in Manhattan for ten years at the beginning of her career, she moved to Taos, NM, where she also thrived, essentially alone. She goes on at length about her philosophy of life and in particular about the virtues of an "empty mind." This talk is less spacey than you might expect, thanks to her uncommon genuineness and clarity. Here is a person who, at age 86 when this doc was made, had figured out life for herself, came up with some provocative answers, and summarizes them for us smartly but sweetly.


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