Hilma af Klint: Seeing is believing
by Kurt Almqvist (Editor), Louise Belfrage (Editor)
The result of a series of lectures delivered during the 2016 Serpentine Galleries exhibition Hilma af Klint: Painting the Unseen, this volume gathers essays examining the last abstract series made by Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). The paintings were all created in the first half of the year 1920 and are the last paintings af Klint made before turning to watercolour.
Reproductions of these images are complemented by essays from Briony Fer, David Lomas, Branden W. Joseph, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Daniel Birnbaum, which shed new light on af Klint and her importance for artists today, also addressing the need for a broader conception of art history that her work proposes.
Beautifully designed this book is a key contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on this immensely popular painter.
Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist known for her large-scale abstract paintings and botanical drawings. Her works combined many aspects of scientific illustration, geometry, and color theory, as evident in The Ten Largest (1907), a 10-canvas series representing the cycle of life. Like most abstract artists at the time, many of her works were inspired by Spiritism and Theosophy, although she was not part of the larger movement that consisted of Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. Throughout her lifetime, women in many fields turned to spiritualism as a way to overcome gender conventions, and in the beginning of 1896, af Klint formed a group, De Fem (The Five), and held spiritual meetings and séances. Born in Sweden in 1862 into a middle-class family, she studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and was trained in classical drawing and painting techniques. Af Klint’s landscape and portraiture work were rarely exhibited. She never shared her abstract work to her contemporaries, and wanted them hidden from the world until society was ready for it. She died in the fall of 1944, leaving behind 1,300 non-figurative works that have never been shown. The artist specified in her will that the work be kept secret for at least 20 years after her death and never be split up. In 2019, the Guggenheim held a survey of the artist’s work titled Hilma af Klint: Paintings of the Future. – Artnet.com
Hardcover: 152 pages
Dimensions: 22.86 x 2.54 x 29.21 cm
Publisher: Stolpe Publishing; 1st edition (2 July 2020)