Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings

Art Gallery of New South Wales
by
24 June 2021

Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings is attracting steady crowds at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW). Perhaps enthusiasm is too ebullient a word for the pervading mood of reverence, but clearly Hilma af Klint’s newly minted reputation preceded her. The humming scrutiny is silenced in the famous double-height space in Andrew Anderson’s 1972 building: ten enormous abstract paintings, each more than three metres high, surround viewers in an installation not unlike the temple that the artist originally planned for them. Remarkably, The Ten Largest were painted in 1907, part of The Paintings for the Temple project between 1906 and 1915 that eventually comprised 193 paintings. This ambition and scale were not seen anywhere else at that time: the phenomenon that is af Klint is rewriting the history of modern art.

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Hilma af Klint

by
07 June 2021

Ever since experiencing my first séance at the Victorian Spiritualist Union in the mid-1960s, when I made contact with my godmother and uncle, I have been fascinated by the supernatural. Over the years, I have visited fortune-tellers, astrologists, clairvoyants, and others claiming to have psychic powers. For the most part, these have proved a lot of generalised mumbo jumbo, but a few claims have been remarkably accurate. In 1989, I was amazed when a London clairvoyant told me she had a message from Father: ‘I’m sorry for the way I treated your mother and left the family, but now she’s married to another very difficult man.’ How could she have invented this?

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