Sunday, November 11, 2018

Hilma af Klint is badass AF

Mind blown by Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art. Little known during her time, af Klint insisted her work remain a secret until at least 20 years following her death (she said the world wasn’t ready for them).

Fascinated by the spiritual realm, she gathered with a small group of women she called “The Five” - they would meditate, pray and read the New Testament together, then hold seances to try to commune with spirits (quite a departure from her days as a Sunday school teacher on the family farm!). 

On one occasion, The Five received a message from an otherworldly being - who told them to produce paintings that illustrate the spirit world. Af Klint was the only one to accept the task, calling it “The Great Commission.” She began “The Paintings for the Temple” in 1906, which led to a series of 193 paintings and works on paper - with more than 170 currently displayed at the Guggenheim.

Af Klint saw her work filling a round building, where visitors would progress upward along a spiraling path, on a spiritual journey defined by her paintings. Some believe Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the Guggenheim was perhaps inspired by the temple af Klint envisioned. Destiny, or coincidence?

What a treat to see with my own eyes, the work of a badass trailblazing woman. Light years ahead of her time.

Why Hilma af Klint is the perfect artist for our time. (artnet)