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Hilma af Klint

October 26, 1862 - October 21, 1944


Swedish artist Hilma af Klint created large abstract paintings starting in 1906, well before such artists as Wassily Kandinsky explored non-representational imagery. She felt that people were not ready for her paintings since they were so radical so she seldom exhibited these during her life.

When her sister died in 1880, she became a medium and was involved with spirituality which was popular at the time. She attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm from 1882–1887 and became a member of the Theosophical Society when it was formed in Sweden in 1889. She her first series of very large paintings dealing with spirituality, The Paintings for the Temple, in 1906. She wanted to express the unity of all through her paintings. Af Klint never married and passed away when she was 88 years old. She specified that none of her work could be shown for at least twenty years after her death and that her work and writings be kept together.

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