Monday, May 02, 2016
Hilma af Klint at the Serpentine gallery
The exhibition is on till May 15th and definitely worth seeing. Gallery website here
I am always looking for artists who have a spiritual dimension to their work, and Hilma's work is all about that.
As it says on the Serpentine Gallery website, the "Serpentine Galleries presents exhibition of Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), who is now regarded as a pioneer of abstract art. While her paintings were not seen publicly until 1986, her work from the early 20th century pre-dates the first purely abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich.
Klint originally painted landscapes and botanical works, but left them in favour of pursuing more abstract and symbolic works based on occult and spiritual dimensions.
Surprisingly I found that a lot of her paintings had thin layers of oil paint, used almost like watercolours, with sections of the canvas showing through. Though some of the paintings are not particularly bright in colour, they have a luminosity that makes them shine.
Klint's work is definitely work to see in the flesh, there is so much that has been taken or reflects her work in graphic design over the last 40 years which can make the work seem familiar. But in terms of presence, the paintings are much more unusual and arresting.