Hilma af Klint’s last wish was that her life’s work, over 1000 drawings and paintings, be hidden for 20 years after her death. The world wasn’t ready for her work. Af Klint died in 1944, but it wasn’t until 1987 that Maurice Tuchman brought her work into the light in a groundbreaking exhibition titled “The Spiritual in Art” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. So what was af Klint hiding?
No less than a schematic for the spiritual healing of the human race, gifted to her by the High Masters, interdimensional beings, and translated to her through the seances she conducted as a medium and clairvoyant. Klint was a member of a coven, a group of women who called themselves The Five, who documented their communications with the High Masters through automatic drawing and painting.
Klint’s work is startlingly contemporary. She beat Kandinsky to the punch, and is considered the first ever purely abstract artist. But while abstract, her work is as much a recipe as it is an art object. Many pieces embed sigils, symbols intended to trigger psychic insights, and depict metaphors of balance, dualism, and connection. Klint did not consider her work abstract, she aimed to create the blueprints of truth.
Reed Enger, "Hilma af Klint, The world isn't ready," in Obelisk Art History, Published October 06, 2015; last modified November 06, 2022, http://arthistoryproject.com/artists/hilma-af-klint/.