Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was a pioneer of abstraction. She developed abstract imagery as early as 1906, long before well known artists such as Kandinsky (who is one of my personal favourites), Mondrian and Malevitj.
Moderna Museet in Stockholm is exhibiting a rich collection of Hilmas art throughout the years, featuring many works that have never before been shown in public. Although she exhibited her early representational works, she never showed her abstract paintings. During her long lifetime she evolved as an artist while she managed to dabble in the spiritual world on the side. Personally I think she had a great time even though she lived in an age where women were kept hidden away. Some of these paintings are HUUUUGE!
To prove it I charmed my friend and colleague Alexander ”Lex” into posing in front of the beautiful The Ten Largest No 1 painting of the group ”Barnaåldern” (childhood years). There are ten of these mega paintings.
Considering they were all painted in 1907 I feel Hilma was way ahead of her time. Don’t you?
A I already mentioned, she was very spiritual and she utilized her experience as a medium to express visual images she believed were transmitted to her from another psychic and mystical realm.
She was involved in spiritualist circles from an early age, and in 1896 she created a spiritual group with four other women called ”The Five”. They took part in séances, were members of many spiritual associations and, after an involvement with Madame Blavatsky’s Theosophy movement, became members of Rudolph Steiner’s Anthroposophical Society.
Curator Iris Müller-Westermann gave the press a inspiring presentation of Hilma and her life achievements: “Hilma af Klint left behind a comprehensive and visually striking oeuvre. Her works are as powerful as they are enigmatic. Their complexity, scale, and consequence are astonishing. The artist unwaveringly explored new horizons at the outset of the 20th century, a radical pioneer of an art that abandoned the depiction of the visible reality. Hilma af Klint was one of the few female artists of her generation who fully pursued what she believed in. She was convinced of the importance of her artistic output and devoted all of her energies to her tasks.”
These much smaller paintings were all done in 1920.
I love the design of the exhibition. It’s all straight angles and thrilling little boxed-in spaces. All of it was built to display the painting and drawings in a most dramatic way.
With 230 paintings and drawings they had to build extra walls to be able to show all the lovely artwork. And they sure did a great job 🙂
Hilma af Klint was versatile. On one side she illustrated flowers and fruits and….
She never married nor had any children and after seeing her work I can understand why: She simply didn’t have the time! 🙂
The exhibition runs through 26 May so if any of my dear foreign friends decide to visit Stockholm, this is a good time. Although you might want to wait a couple of weeks as we still suffer winter temperatures (!!!!)
This is how we feel about winter…….it’s been hard, tough, dark, super cold and miserable. Consider that all you lucky fellows who live in a warm climate. Ciao!