Hilma af Klint: Artist, Researcher, Medium

Moderna Museet Malmö, 14 Apr 2020 – 21 Feb 2021


The Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden, honors with Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) an artist whose work is such that a central chapter of modern art history ought to be rewritten: the dawn of abstract painting.

Particularly interesting, but also a particular challenge for art historical classification, is the fact that af Klint developed her abstract, symbol-impregnated visual language as a mediumistic artist under the collaborative effort with unseen entities. In automatic drawings she had investigated a vocabulary of primordial forms, which she later transferred into large and magnificent symbolic paintings, predominantly under the influence of theosophical and anthroposophical ideas.

Hilma af Klint decreed in her will that the paintings of this “esoteric” creative period may only be exhibited 20 years after her death. Her mediumistic oeuvre became known in 1987 through the epochal exhibition The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Since then, Hilma af Klint and the potential importance of her forgotten oeuvre was no longer only know by a handful of insiders. Numerous shows in important museums followed, culminating in the major exhibition Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2019. 

Now, from 4 April 2020, the Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden, is offering its visitors the opportunity to get to know Hilma af Klint in yet another comprehensive exhibition. The exhibition will not only present the entire series “The Ten Greatest”, ten monumental paintings from 1907, but also works from the series “The Paintings for the Temple”. Hilma af Klint's work deals with the great questions of hermetic philosophy about the secret correspondences of macrocosm and microcosm and the forces and laws that govern biological and spiritual evolution. The development of her studies of the mysterious laws of unseen forces and connections, which she explored in intuitive vision, and the meanings she attributed to them, are particularly evident in her blue notebooks. These are basically a catalogue of those paintings that she considered to be her most important, many with black and white photographs of the original works side by side with small watercolor copies on the facing pages. Sometimes the artist has also worked out symbolic elements of the paintings individually and left written notes. All ten volumes of the blue notebooks will be exhibited together for the first time in Malmö, thus allowing the viewer to explore her fascinating work in all its depth.

Hilma af Klint
Artist, Researcher, Medium
Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden
14 Apr – 21 Feb 2021

hakcatHilma af Klint: Artist, researcher, medium
Exhibition catalogue, English edition, 2020

Editors: Iris Müller-Westermann, Milena Høgsberg
ISBN: 978-91-984571-2-4






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