Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), was a Swedish visual artist, who belonged to the first generation of academically trained women in Europe. Between 1882 and 1887 she studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts.
Af Klint, under the influence of mystical currents, theosophy, and anthroposophy, abandons figurative, naturalistic artistic language, and, on the basis that there is a spiritual dimension in human existence, proposes herself to make visible what exists beyond what our eyes can see; that is, to show the spiritual through art, operating with an abstract, experimental, and unique visual language. Her first abstract works were made between 1906 and 1915, geometric and organic compositions, with a great symbolic content.
This happened a few years before the work of Kandinsky (who made his first abstract painting in 1911), Mondrian and Malevich appeared, who are still considered the fathers of abstract art, a place that Hilma af Klint does not occupy in the History of Art, perhaps because in life she only exhibited her early and figurative work, but never her abstract painting, which wasn’t known until 1986, in response to her last will left in her will, where she stated that her abstract work shouldn’t be exhibited up to 20 years after her death, because she was convinced that she couldn’t be valued or understood until after that time had elapsed; however, it took more than 20 years, exactly 42, for a selection of her works to be shown for the first time at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in the aforementioned year.
The discovery of this artist and the systematic study of her production, which exceeds a thousand artworks, characterized by her originality, chromatic intensity, balance in her geometric and organic compositions, the use of symbolism and large formats, induces critics and researchers to consider her as a pioneer of abstract art.
Written by José Gregorio Noroño, curator at Arte Original.
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