Swedish artist and Theosophic medium Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) was ahead of her time, and she knew it. Af Klint dabbled in abstract art long before Kandinsky invented the phrase. Born into aristocracy, af Klint had a well rounded education, and was keenly interested in nature and biology from a young age. Part of the first generation of women admitted to study at the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, af Klint was part of a group of other female spiritual artists known as The Five. The group met regularly to commune with spirits and practice automatic writing and drawing. In 1906, the group was commissioned for a massive and most peculiar project by the High Masters, powerful spirits in the Theosophic religion. The work was to be a series of paintings for the ambiguous “Temple,” and The Five were asked to create the works through spiritual intervention. Four of The Five were skeptical of their ability to complete the project without falling into madness, and warned af Klint not to undertake the task alone. She ignored them. The 193 resulting paintings ranged in style and subject, and af Klint knew she had something unique. She also knew that the art world was not ready to appreciate it. She stipulated in her will that the works not be shared with the world for at least 20 years after her death. When the vault was finally opened in the 1960s, the entire timeline and canon of modern art was spun on its head. Paintings for the Temple are an exploration of what it means to be alive. Themes of electricity and atoms, vibrant colors and shapes that dance off the canvas and whisper in your ear: there is something more to this world. Hilma af Klint wanted to know the secrets of the universe. Paintings for the Temple show us what she learned.
1.1" H x 12.4" L x 9.7" W (4.1 lbs) 232 pages. Hardcover.