It’s Day 77 and today was a little challenging to paint. Nothing happening at the house, but in my brain. Wasn’t feeling that great and when I started painting…it wasn’t turning out the way it was in my brain. But I got it done and I don’t exactly hate it so let’s celebrate Hilma Af Klint today.
Hilma af Klint (October 26, 1862– October 21, 1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were amongst the first abstract art. She belonged to a group called “The Five” and her paintings which resembled sometimes diagrams were a visual representation of complex philosophical ideas.
The fourth child of Captain Victor af Klint, a Swedish naval commander, and Mathilda af
Klint (née Sonntag), Hilma af Klint spent summers with her family at their farm Hanmora on the island of Adelsö inLake Mälaren. In these idyllic surroundings Hilma came into contact with nature at an early stage in her life and this deep association with natural forms was to be an inspiration in her work. From her father she adopted an interest in mathematics.
In 1880 her younger sister Hermina died and it was at this time that the spiritual dimension of her life began to develop.
She showed an early ability in visual art and after the family had moved to Stockholm she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts for five years during which time she learned portraiture and landscape painting . Here she met Anna Cassel, the first of the four women with whom she later worked in “The Five” (de fem), a group of artists who shared her ideas. Her more conventional painting became the source of her financial income while the ‘life’s work’ remained a quite separate practice.
The project on which “the Five” were engaged involved, in 1892, recording in a
book a completely new system of mystical thought in the form of messages from higher spirits. One, Gregor, spoke thus: “all the knowledge that is not of the senses, not of the intellect, not of the heart but is the property that exclusively belongs to the deepest aspect of your being…the knowledge of your spirit”.
Hilma af Klint’s work ran parallel to the development of abstract art by other artists such as Mondrian, Malevich and Kandinsky who were, like af Klint, inspired by the Theosophical Movementfounded by Madame Blavatsky. Af Klint’s work can be understood in the wider context of the modernist search for new forms in artistic, spiritual, political and scientific systems at the beginnings of the 20th century.
Through her work with the group “the Five” af Klint created experimental automatic
drawing as early as 1896, leading her towards an inventive geometric visual language capable of conceptualising invisible forces both of the inner and outer worlds. Quite apart from their diagrammatic purpose the paintings have a freshness and a modern aesthetic of tentative line and hastily captured image: a segmented circle, a helix bisected and divided into a spectrum of lightly painted colours. She continued prolifically to add to the body of work amounting to over 1000 pieces until 1941.
She requested that it should not be shown until 20 years after the end of her life. In 1970 her paintings were offered as a gift to Moderna Museet in Stockholm, which declined the donation. Thanks to the art historian Åke Fant her art was introduced to an international audience in the 1980s. He first presented her at a Nordik conference in Helsinki in 1984, and then wrote a catalog entry to the 1986 exhibition at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The spiritual in art: abstract painting 1890-1985. organized by Maurice Tuchman. In 2005-2006 her work was shown in some major museums in the exhibition 3 x Abstraction curated by Catherine de Zegher, together with artists Agnes Martin and Emma Kunz.
Biography is from wikipedia.
I really really loved her art when I started researching her and was intrigued by her life story. I feel like she was way ahead of her time and would be successful today if she was still around. 🙂
The biggest issue I had with my personal painting was that I was so excited to do one in honor of her that I had this image in my mind of how I wanted mine to look and it didn’t really turn out right.
But alas…I finished it and I think it’s…interesting. I think it’s a combination with my color choices and line sizes, etc. Well, I hope you enjoy it and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 78! I think I need a nap. Best, Linda