The hidden mystery of abstraction

‘Svanen (The Swan) No. 17 …Two swans kissing’

Hilma af Klint, Guggenheim Museum

The conventional view is that the first abstract art can be traced to 1911, to the brush of Wassily Kandinsky. Like many things, the facts may be more complex. Hilma af Klint was a Swedish Artist, who was a respected and successful naturalistic oil painter. She held numerous financially successful exhibitions during her lifetime, which was rare for a female artist of the time. She also had a deep involvement in theosophy, spiritualism and the occult. These influences lead her to start several series of symbolic paintings, arguably the first abstract works. Af Klint hid these from the public. Even after her death her will denied access from public display until the 1960s. There are lessons hidden in the circumstances that compelled her to do this. #womenartists #letsmakelemonade

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