The Secret Paintings of Hilma af Klint

Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem, 2010, 76 pages (colour & b/w ill.), 21 × 28 cm, Dutch

Price: €19

Produced on the occasion of The Secret Paintings of Hilma af Klint, a Swedish Pioneer in Moden Art, organised by the Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem, from 7 March to 30 May 2010.

With esotericism, theosophy and Madame Blavatsky all the rage at the end of the nineteenth century, the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862-1944), generally known then for her landscapes and portraits, began to participate in small séances. These eventually led to a body of secret paintings. Whilst having received the spirit ‘Ananda’ in a state of trance, in 1904, Af Klint, agrees to follow orders and starts a body of mainly abstract works, incorporating a heavy symbolic language. These works; about 1000 paintings and 124 notebooks, were not to be made public until 20 years after her death, fearing they would not be understood.

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