Exhibition at the Pinacoteca of São Paulo, Brazil from March 3 to July 16, 2018
The Pinacoteca of São Paulo exhibits, for the first time in Latin America, an individual showcase of the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944). Her work has been recognized as a pioneer in the field of abstract art, yet has remained in secret for much of the twentieth century.
In 1907, the year in which Hilma af Klint worked on the series “Paintings for the Temple” (consisting of 193 classified works, made between 1906 and 1915), Picasso painted “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”, Gustav Klimt, “The Kiss” and Frida Kahlo, “Mexico City.” Shortly afterwards came names like Kandinsky, Munch and Mondrian, artists who marked the history of art, except Hilma af Klint, who did not participate in this story, for her abstract work was revealed only twenty years after her death, at her request. Even so, it is only in 1986 that a few people could appreciate her work for the first time in the exhibition The Spiritual In Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985 “at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) exhibit.
Her work explores the way to a higher plane. Hilma af Klint knew that the public would not yet be ready to receive her work, which is not yet fully understood today. Hilma proposes a journey of self-knowledge that concerns all of us. Gradually, humanity is opening up to it. Because of the impulses of the Age of Aquarius, people are more receptive to new ideas. However, the ideas recorded by Hilma are not new, they have always existed and continue to exist.
Hilma af Klint was not only an artist but a person in search of spiritual development. At the beginning she was only an instrument for registering immaterial to the material, from the invisible to the visible. According to Johan af Klint, the artist’s nephew, heir to her work and president of the Hilma af Klint Foundation, “her work is a physical representation of the spiritual world.” Later, she reveals de development of her own conscienceness.
Two people from the group of LOGON authors visited the exhibition, and here is our impression:
When we contemplate the work of Hilma af Klint we perceive its grandeur and that there is something there that cannot be put into words. At times she expresses herself through geometric forms, at times through organic forms. In this sense, her work is abstract because it touches us in a way almost impossible to be understood only by the concrete mind. It is necessary to experience it, to experience it through our state of being and to allow it to penetrate our inner self, our heart, and to make vibrate something that resonates and that is in tune with the vibration. The work of Hilma af Klint is not for the intellect, for interpretation, it is possible to feel it as soon as we get in contact with her canvases, especially those that were painted especially for the temple. For which temple did Hilma paint? The answer to the seeker of truth is: Hilma didn’t paint for a temple; she shows the path to build an inner temple.
Her work can make reverberate all that we perceive with our eyes into ourselves, it is recognition! This is the spiritual path she walks, that exists, that is there, and any person who seeks it can truly find it. It is a gift for the present, for it is now that it is being shown, to humanity with its present consciousness, in the present cosmic moment, which has the openness to accept it and the inner restlessness, the seeker’s thirst, the dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs. We notice how magnetic her paintings are and how visitors to the exhibition feel completely touched by the displays, many of them under 10 years old. Is there any better proof than this, to show how intimate and for all her art is?
Influenced by spiritual movements such as the Rosy-Cross, Theosophy, and later Anthroposophy, Hilma af Klint recorded dimensions that go beyond the understanding of the senses. She represents scientifically and catalogues in innumerable written records the invisible energies of the world. It is worth noting that in her day, the invisible became of interest, with scientific discoveries such as the X-ray and electromagnetic waves. We are able to note how separation does not really exist and everything is interconnected, but revealed to each one differently. Thus, Hilma af Klint discovered these same things artistically. In the occult field, Spiritism sessions gained prominence. Hilma made her Spiritism experiences with the Circle of Five, a group composed of her and four other friends, making automatic registrations during sessions and connecting with high spirits.
But it is noticeable that the Swedish painter came into contact with a superior magnetic field, a pure and elevated field, of which she spoke to Rudolf Steiner. A field that does not belong to the dialectical world (the world of opposites, light and dark, good and evil): the field of the Spirit.
Hilma af Klint earned her living as a painter of portraits and landscapes, she was very thorough and in her spiritual work around botany she made numerous records of the organization of atoms and magnetic fields as well as of Sacred Geometry. In the book Sacred Geometry: Natural, Scientific, and Pythagorean Foundations (Jesus Zaton), we read: “Sacred Geometry is not limited to simple measures but seeks to explore the energetic patterns through which all forms were created from Unity or the metaphysical All: from the development of an embryo, to the patterns that follow the formation and rhythms of planets, galaxies, to spots and lines in animal skin, or the way in which DNA molecules are structured, From small to large, everything is ruled by Sacred Geometry. “
Her works run all the way through Genesis, from Chaos to the beginning, the Word. “The Ten Largest” tell the story of the development of consciousness (in spirals), from the stages of the human being from childhood to old age. The “Temple Paintings” culminate with the Altarpiece Series which is af Klint’s own spiritual path, the alchemical process that transmutes lead into gold. Another beautiful series is “The Tree of Wisdom,” in number 1 Hilma places the heart (the center of the human being) at the base of the tree trunk. The heart is the gateway to the other dimensions that lead to the chalice of the Holy Grail, which radiates (12 rays). The separation is greater the farther from the cup, the Spirit. This is portrayed by the white and black doves. In the upper dimension, the doves unify. The One, the indivisible, the eternal.
This path of self-knowledge, pursued by Hilma af Klint, is her art: an art capable of transforming the spiritual life of those who come into contact with it. A life that flows from your heart, which wants to offer you eternity, which is not an image, but a force, an infinite event, without beginning or end, now, in the present.