Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist whose paintings were among the first in Western abstract art. Whilst Kandsinky was known for his purely abstract compositions, some of Klint's abstract works predate Wassily Kandinsky, making her the forerunner in abstract art in the 19th century. Hilma Klints paintings resembled diagrams and a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas from a bygone era.
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Hilma af Klint (1862 - 1944) was a Swedish artist and mystic who hid some 1200 paintings during her active years and life.
Klint studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm for five years and lived off the income she made from her more conventional paintings (of portraiture and landscapes) whilst her 'life's work' remained hidden. The hidden works were inspired by the Theosophical Movement founded by Madame Blavatsky a modernist search for new forms in artistic, spiritual, political and scientific systems, which resembled diagrams and visual representations of complex spiritual ideas which predate the first purely abstract compositions by Wassily Kandinsky.
Hilma Klint specified that her work should be kept secret for at least 20 years after her death. When the boxes were opened at the end of the 1960s, very few people had knowledge of what would be inside. A considerable body of her abstract paintings were revealed and subsequently celebrated and are now exhibited at the Moderna Museet museum in Stockholm, Sweden.