Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future

Tracey Bashkoff, Tessel M. Baudin

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future
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Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future

Tracey Bashkoff, Tessel M. Baudin

A groundbreaking study of visionary artist Hilma af Klint.     

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 Klint’s 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 artist’s 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 artist’s life and work. Essays explore the social, intellectual, and artistic milieu of af Klint’s 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 Klint’s 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 Museum’s  rotunda, the site of the forthcoming exhibition.

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