Hilma af Klint (Swedish, 1862-1944)

  • The Tail of the Swan, 1914
  • The Swan (No. 17), 1914-15

Hilma af Klint’s paintings are diagrams of a spiritual plane that underlies the visual world. She was a member of a small group of women who would meet to access religious spirits with knowledge of the afterlife.

Gregor, one of the spiritual masters she contacted during these meetings, said to her that the paintings represent “All the knowledge that is not of the senses, not of the intellect, not of the heart but is the property that exclusively belongs to the deepest aspect of your being […] the knowledge of your spirit.”

Hilma af Klint, along with Frantisek Kupka and Wassily Kandinsky, was among the first European artists to create abstract paintings. She wanted to keep her paintings secret from the public until 20 years after her death.

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Hilma Af Klint (1862-1944) was a pioneer of abstract art that turned away from visible reality. She assumed that there was a spiritual dimension to life and aimed at visualizing contexts beyond what the eye can see. through her paintings, she sought to understand and communicate the various dimensions of human existence.

The alchemical order demands the process of ‘Solve et Coagula’, a dissolution of false perceptions, prejudices, misunderstandings so that a new formation of 'elements’ will take place within the individual consciousness, so a new sequence of ideas and notions will come to serve one’s way towards enlightenment, if that’s the goal…a finer understanding of life and its mechanisms, where the body becomes spiritual and the spirit becomes corporeal beyond polarities and disputes. A place or state where emptiness is form and form is emptiness, the unmanifested is also evident while the apparent is also elusive. The existential riddle of “Who I am?” still remains, the mystery of mysteries, but it is the formulation of this primordial question that becomes more elaborate. There’s immortality in mortality, as everything emanates from the same Source and everything will eventually return to it, and there’s the darkest of darkness, our fear of death and the unknown that could also be described as 'infinite Light’.

Swan by Hilma af Klint, 1914.