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The Ten Largest, No. 7 “Adult” Hilma af Klint (1907)

The abstract artwork of Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) predated that of Kandinsky, Klee, and Mondrian, and so some say that she rather than a “he” was the inventor of abstract art. She knew herself that she was painting well before her time and asked that her work not be exhibited until 20 years past her death. However, that stretch of restraint lasted much longer. Only recently is her work being given the kind of renown and interest she has long deserved.

Like so many artists, her artwork was inspired by a spiritual perspective, in her case a keen interest in Buddhism and Theosophy, and the Occult. What I love about her paintings are the rich colors and elegant organic shapes, the playful designs and sense of connectivity. Her art reminds me of Georgia O’Keefe’s works in some ways, the boldly feminine and evocative.

More about her life and work can be found in the links below.

The Ten Largest, “Childhood” Hilma af Klint (1907)
“The Ten Largest, No. 4, Youth” (1907).
The Ten Largest, No. 4 “Youth” Hilma af Klint, (1907)
The Ten Largest, Number 6, Ten, “Adulthood”, by Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint “Evolution, №15, Group IV, The Seven-pointed Stars”, 1908
In 1915, Hilma af Klint made three "Altarpiece" paintings for a temple to spiritual enlightenment that was never built.
One of several “Altarpiece” paintings meant to be shown in a temple that was never built. Hilma af Klint (1915)
“The Ten Largest” (1907) at the Museum of Modern Art Stockholm, 2013 Photograph: Åsa Lundén

For more on af Klint: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2020-04-16/beyond-visible-hilma-af-klint ; https://medium.com/nightingale/hilma-af-klint-visualizing-the-spirit-world-bb54781d9beb ; https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/arts/design/hilma-af-klint-review-guggenheim.htm l; https://www.hilmaafklint.se/om-hilma-af-klint/