Hilma af Klint - The Ten Largest No. 8 - Adulthood - 1907
Svenska: Grupp IV, nr 8. De tio största,
Tempera på papper uppfodrad
322 × 239 cm
© Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk
Hilma af Klint, 1862-1944, was a Swedish artist who is known for her abstract paintings. Her work was largely unrecognized during her lifetime but has gained significant attention in recent years. Af Klint's art is often associated with mysticism due to the spiritual themes and influences present in her paintings. Af Klint's abstract paintings were highly innovative for their time, preceding the well-known abstract works of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian. Her artistic style was deeply personal and rooted in her spiritual beliefs and experiences. While her work resonates with mysticism, it is important to note that interpretations of her art can vary, and different viewers may find different meanings and connections within her paintings. Af Klint was deeply interested in theosophy, a spiritual and philosophical movement that sought to understand the mysteries of the universe and the spiritual nature of humanity. Theosophy drew from various religious and mystical traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christian mysticism. It emphasized the idea of a universal spiritual truth underlying all religions. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a growing interest among artists and intellectuals in esoteric and occult philosophies, and af Klint was part of this milieu. She was a member of "The Five," a group of female artists who conducted séances and explored spiritualist practices. They sought to communicate with spirits and access higher realms of consciousness through their artistic endeavors. While af Klint was interested in spiritual and occult practices, she was not a member of any organized Theosophical group. Af Klint's considered her paintings to be a means of expressing and exploring these mystical dimensions. She claimed to receive messages and visions that informed her artistic process. These spiritual influences are evident in her paintings, which often feature geometric shapes, symbolic motifs, and vibrant colors. She created a series of paintings called "The Paintings for the Temple," which were intended for a spiritual and mystical purpose, although the intended temple was never realized during her lifetime.