MOTHER OF ABSTRACT: HILMA AF KLINT
hilma af klint (1862-1944) was a swedish painter. she was born into a wealthy navy family, and had some success with her figurative scenes that were typical of the time.
however klint began to associate with leading mystics and thinkers of the time, meeting with rudolph steiner and exploring theosophy (a spiritual approach which would now be called 'new age')
she was rejected artistically by the ultimately conservative men in these new movements: she had been producing abstract art works, claiming to be guided by a higher force, but many of the people to whom she showed her paintings scoffed.
she left the works to her nephew eric, who was instructed to publish them 20 years after her death in 1944. since this time, the art history establishment have begin to understand that it was she, and not wasilliy kandinsky, who made the first abstract paintings in the western tradition.
interestingly, there is evidence of a meeting between klint and kandinsky, before kandinsky showed his first abstracts, and even some evidence to suggest that klint may have shown him sketches of her work.
have a look at her hero page on our blog to see which of her works have been of particular importance for us.