Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Spiritual sparks helped inspire the radical and visionary art of Hilma af Klint

By Roberta Smith
Altarpieces, left to right: No. 2, Altarpiece (Altarbild), 1915; No. 3, Altarpiece (Altarbild), 1915; and No. 1, Altarpiece (Altarbild), 1915.
If you like to hallucinate but disdain the requisite stimulants, spend some time in the Guggenheim Museum’s staggering exhibition, “Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future.” In 1896 she began meeting regularly with four other female artists to pursue occult practices. They called themselves The Five, prayed, made automatic drawings, kept notebooks and through séances attempted to communicate with other worlds.During trance-like states, The Five eventually contacted spirit guides they called High Masters and even named them: Amaliel, Ananda, Clemens, Esther, Georg and Gregor. By 1904, the High Masters began calling for a temple filled with paintings to be created. When the other four members declined the commission, af Klint accepted and in November 1906 she began work on “The Paintings for the Temple.” [More]

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future (Through Feb. 3, 2019);  212-423-3500,