Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future
When Swedish artist Hilma af Klint died in 1944 at the age of 81, she left behind more than a thousand paintings and works on paper that she kept largely private during her lifetime. Believing the world was not yet ready for her art, she stipulated that it should remain unseen for another 20 years. But only in recent decades has the public had a chance to reckon with af Klints radically abstract painting practice one which predates the work of Vasily Kandinsky and other artists widely considered trailblazers of modernist abstraction.
Accompanying the first major survey exhibition of the artists work in the United States, Hilma af Klint represents her groundbreaking painting series while expanding recent scholarship to present the fullest picture yet of the artists life and work. Essays explore the social, intellectual, and artistic milieu of af Klints 1906 break with figuration and her subsequent development, placing her in the context of Swedish modernism and folk art traditions, contemporary scientific discoveries, and spiritualist and occult movements. A roundtable discussion among contemporary artists, scholars, and curators considers af Klints sources and relevance to art in the 21st century. The volume also delves into her unrealized plans for a spiral-shaped temple in which to display her art a wish that finds a fortuitous answer in the Guggenheim Museums rotunda, the site of the forthcoming exhibition.