The tectonic plates of art history are definitely shifting in this exhibition. It would have been nearly inconceivable a generation ago. But the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint’s consistent string of European exhibitions, followed by a world-record-breaking blockbuster at the Guggenheim in New York in 2019, have catapulted her into the ranks of the most well-known artists.
Although Frances Morris, the director of Tate Modern, calls Mondrian “one of the most famous artistic brands on earth,” it is possible that his once-ubiquitous popularity, which saw his primary-colored squares and rectangles and black lines appear on everything from l’Oréal hair products to Yves Saint Laurent dresses, is now waning. Which of them currently attracts the most viewers?
The two artists, Af Klint in Stockholm in 1862 and Mondrian in Amersfoort, Netherlands, in 1872, were born just ten years apart but never met. However, the exhibition highlights their shared characteristics. We can see their early passions for nature and landscape painting, which served as the foundation for their intense interactions with mystical belief systems, including their profound interest in the esoteric Theosophical movement and the ideas of the Anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner.
This intricate web of ideas and references gave rise to various artistic dialects known as abstract; to put it simply, Mondrian used the grid as his base whereas Af Klint used the spiral.
[sc_fs_multi_faq headline-0=”h2″ question-0=”How has Hilma af Klint’s work changed over time?” answer-0=”Hilma af Klint created a new artistic language as she learned how to express herself visually. Her paintings grew more independent and deliberate. For the remainder of her life, her main source of creation would remain spiritual.” image-0=”” headline-1=”h2″ question-1=”What is the analysis of Hilma af Klint?” answer-1=”In order to visualise circumstances outside of what the eye can see, Hilma af Klint worked under the assumption that there was a spiritual aspect to life. She felt that when she was painting, she was in touch with a higher awareness that spoke to her and sent messages.” image-1=”3375″ count=”2″ html=”true” css_class=””]