Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint

If Hilma af Klint's paintings are today exhibited alongside those of Piet MondrianVassily KandinskyFrantiseck Kupka or Kazimir Malevitch this was not the case for a long time. The Swedish artist, born in 1862, developed with decades of advance, and in the greatest discretion, a unique abstract language completely avant-garde, imbued with esotericism and spirituality. But it was not until 1984 that her work resurfaced from the depths of oblivion. The world then discovered, flabbergasted, the work of this "pioneer" of abstraction, canvases that one would think had come out of the 70s! Why did Hilma af Klint remain in the shadows for so long? How did this woman discover, years before anyone else, the world of abstraction? And where did this mysterious artist find the necessary influence to create her mystical universe? 

 

Hilma af Klint exhibited and sold some of her classical works but never showed her abstract work to her contemporaries. The painter, who felt that the world was not ready to understand her work, specified to her nephew to whom she bequeathed her work, that nothing should be revealed until twenty years after her death. It was therefore during an exhibition devoted to the spiritual, in 1984 and in Los Angeles, that this special artist was revealed to the art world and to the public. More than 1,000 paintings with bucolic inspirations and strong spiritual influences, marked by the paranormal, nature, mathematics and religion, emerged.

 

Intrigued, curators and abstraction specialists discovered that after the death of her younger sister Hermina, Hilma began to take an interest in theosophy and anthroposophy, a movement of thought invented by Rudolf Steiner, who wanted to be close to nature and see the world commemorated by spiritual forces. Together with five other women artists, Hilma is initiated into spiritualism in an attempt to communicate with her deceased sister. These experiences and encounters greatly influenced her conception of art and her creations. Hilma, who believes that her art can convey a message to men, goes even further by experimenting with "automatic painting", creating for example in a trance state.

 

Ahead of her time and guided by invisible forces, Hilma af Klint translates the geometry of the universe into points, lines, patterns and colors through a monumental and prolific pictorial work, classified into categories and sub-categories, documented, annotated. A titanic work, impressively organized, which was delivered to us by his nephew Erik af Klint. The late discovery of this totally romantic painter makes us wonder. How many artists, especially women artists, hid their works? How many Hilma af Klint escaped us?

 

 

 

 

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