Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future at the Guggenheim Museum

art & design
events

Where Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 5th Ave, New York, NY 10128 Map It

When Oct 11, 2018 – Apr 23, 2019
Add to Calendar

Reservations (212) 423-3500

back to list

(NEW YORK, NY—October 11, 2018)—From October 12, 2018, to April 23, 2019, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the first major solo exhibition in the United States of the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint (1862–1944). When af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, they were like little that had been seen before: bold, colorful, and untethered from recognizable references to the physical world. It was several years before Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, Piet Mondrian, and others would take similar strides to free their own artwork of representational content. Yet af Klint rarely exhibited her remarkably forward-looking paintings and, convinced the world was not ready for them, stipulated that they not be shown for 20 years following her death. Ultimately, her work was not exhibited until 1986, and it is only over the past three decades that her paintings and works on paper have received serious attention.

Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future offers an opportunity to experience af Klint’s artistic achievements in the Guggenheim’s rotunda more than a century after she began her daring work. Curated by Tracey Bashkoff, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, with the assistance of David Horowitz, Curatorial Assistant, and organized with the cooperation of the Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm, the exhibition features more than 170 of af Klint’s artworks and focus on the artist’s breakthrough years, 1906–20. It is during this period that she began to produce nonobjective and stunningly imaginative paintings, creating a singular body of work that invites a reevaluation of modernism and its development.

In conjunction with Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future, the museum presents R. H. Quaytman: + x, Chapter 34. In these new works, Quaytman engages af Klint’s aesthetic language and spiritually charged subject matter, reexamining both through the lens of the Guggenheim Museum’s founding ethos, which was indebted to the art and theories of Kandinsky and culminated with the commissioning of Frank Lloyd Wright to design “a temple of spirit.” Quaytman’s abiding interest in af Klint extends back to 1989, when Quaytman organized an exhibition on the Swedish artist at New York’s P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center.

Hilma af Klint was born in Stockholm in 1862 and went on to study painting at the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, graduating with honors in 1887. She soon established herself as a respected painter in Stockholm, exhibiting deftly rendered figurative paintings and serving briefly as secretary of the Society for Swedish Women Artists. During these years, she also became deeply engaged with spiritualism, Rosicrucianism, and Theosophy. These forms of spirituality, which were also of keen interest to other artists, including Kandinsky, František Kupka, Malevich, and Mondrian, were widely popular across Europe and the United States, as people sought to reconcile long-held religious beliefs with scientific advances and a new awareness of the global plurality of religions.

Af Klint developed her new approach to art making together with her spiritual practice, outside of Stockholm’s male-dominated art world. She had begun to regularly hold séances with four other women by 1896. During a meeting in 1906, one of the spirits that the group often channeled asked af Klint to create a cycle of paintings. Af Klint immediately accepted. She worked on the project between 1906 and 1915, completing 193 paintings and works on paper collectively called The Paintings for the Temple. These works, which included her first forays into nonobjectivity, were a radical break from the more staid paintings she produced as part of her public practice. Stylistically, they are strikingly diverse, utilizing biomorphic and geometric forms, expansive and intimate scales, and maximalist and reductivist approaches to composition and color. She imagined installing them in a spiral temple, but the building never came to fruition. Af Klint described the final group of The Paintings for the Temple, called the Altarpieces, as “the summary of the series so far.” Recent research suggests this group of paintings was exhibited in 1928 at the World Conference of Spiritual Science and Its Practical Applications in London—the only known public display of The Paintings for the Temple during the artist’s lifetime.

After she completed The Paintings for the Temple, af Klint continued to test the limits of her new abstract vocabulary. In these years, she experimented with form, theme, and seriality, creating some of her most incisive works.

EXHIBITION CATALOGUE Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future is accompanied by an illustrated catalog representing her groundbreaking painting series while expanding recent scholarship to present the fullest picture yet of her life and art. Edited by Tracey Bashkoff, the volume includes contributions by Tessel M. Bauduin, Daniel Birnbaum, Briony Fer, Vivien Greene, Ylva Hillström, David Max Horowitz, Andrea Kollnitz, Helen Molesworth, and Julia Voss. Essays explore the social, intellectual, and artistic context of af Klint’s 1906 break with figuration and her subsequent development, placing her in the context of Swedish modernism and folk art traditions, contemporary scientific discoveries, and spiritualist and occult movements. A roundtable discussion among contemporary artists, scholars, and curators considers af Klint’s sources and relevance to art in the 21st century. The volume also delves into her unrealized plans for a spiral-shaped temple in which to display her art—a wish that finds a fortuitous answer in the Guggenheim Museum’s rotunda, the site of the exhibition. The hardcover edition is available for $65 at guggenheimstore.org.

https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/who-was-hilma-af-klint-at-the-guggenheim-paintings-by-an-artist-ahead-of-her-time

You May Also Like

Warm Up: The Martinez Brothers, Shigeto, Noodles, P-Lo, Djrum, DJ Osh Kosh at MOMA PS1

Warm Up: The Martinez Brothers, Shigeto, Noodles, P-Lo, Djrum, DJ Osh Kosh at MOMA PS1

music
events

MoMa PS1
22-25 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, NY 11101

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 12:00PM - 9:00pm Add to Calendar
Dras DJ in the Roxy Bar

Dras DJ in the Roxy Bar

entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 10:00PM - 02:00AM Add to Calendar
Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM Add to Calendar
Best Party NYC Soho Grand Hotel

Saturday Night in Club Room w/ Kelle Calco

art & design
entertainment
music
events

Soho Grand Hotel
310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 10:00PM - 04:00AM Add to Calendar
NYC Nightlife Soho Grand Hotel

DJ Nina Tarr in Grand Bar & Lounge

music
events

Soho Grand Hotel
310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 08:00PM - 12:00AM Add to Calendar
Holy Ghost! (DJ set), JKriv, Zephyr Ann, Felipe at Elsewhere Rooftop

Holy Ghost! (DJ set), JKriv, Zephyr Ann, Felipe at Elsewhere Rooftop

entertainment
music
events

Elsewhere Rooftop
599 Johnson Ave #1
Brooklyn, NY 11237

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 2:00pm - 10:00pm Add to Calendar
Squeeze / They Might Be Giants live on the Rooftop at Pier 17

Squeeze / They Might Be Giants live on the Rooftop at Pier 17

music
events

Pier 17
89 South St, New York, NY 10038

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 5:30PM - 11:30PM Add to Calendar
Chino Pons LIVE in the Roxy Bar

Chino Pons LIVE in the Roxy Bar

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 24, 2019 800PM - 10:00PM
Jon Regen Solo Piano live in the Roxy Bar

Jon Regen Solo Piano live in the Roxy Bar

entertainment
food & drink
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 25, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM Add to Calendar
Piano brunch with Walter Schick in the Roxy Bar

Piano brunch with Walter Schick in the Roxy Bar

music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 25, 2019 12:00PM - 3:00PM Add to Calendar
Reggie Watts Live at the Bellhouse

Reggie Watts Live at the Bellhouse

music
events

The Bell House
149 7th Street
(Between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
Brooklyn, NY, 11215

WHEN Ongoing until Aug 28, 2019 7:00PM - 11:00pm Add to Calendar
Jon Regen Solo Piano live in the Roxy Bar

Jon Regen Solo Piano live in the Roxy Bar

entertainment
food & drink
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 26, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM Add to Calendar
Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 27, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM Add to Calendar
Stop Making Sense - 35th Anniversary Live Screening & Dance Party at Gramercy Theatre

Stop Making Sense - 35th Anniversary Live Screening & Dance Party at Gramercy Theatre

entertainment
music
events

GRAMERCY THEATRE
127 EAST 23RD STREET
NY, NY

WHEN Aug 28, 2019 7:00PM - 11:00pm Add to Calendar
King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Stonefield / Orb live at Summerstage

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Stonefield / Orb live at Summerstage

music
events

Central Park
Rumsey Playfield
Manhattan 10021

WHEN Aug 28, 2019 6:00pm - 10:00PM Add to Calendar
Bill Dobrow and Friends Live in the Roxy Bar

Bill Dobrow and Friends Live in the Roxy Bar

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 28, 2019 8:00PM - 10:00PM Add to Calendar
Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

Michael Garin Solo Piano Live in the Roxy Bar

bars & nightlife
entertainment
music
events

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

WHEN Aug 28, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM Add to Calendar
Flying Lotus in 3D live at Brooklyn Mirage

Flying Lotus in 3D live at Brooklyn Mirage

music
events

The Brooklyn Mirage
140 Stewart Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11237
United States

WHEN Aug 30, 2019 8:00PM - 11:00pm Add to Calendar
The Who live at Madison Square Garden

The Who live at Madison Square Garden

music
events

Madison Square Garden
4 Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10001

WHEN Ongoing until Sep 02, 2019 7:30PM - 12:00am Add to Calendar
Hot Chip Live at Brooklyn Steel

Hot Chip Live at Brooklyn Steel

music
events

Brooklyn Steel
319 Frost Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222

WHEN Ongoing until Sep 05, 2019 7:30PM - 12:00AM Add to Calendar
Fotografiska Gallery opening

Fotografiska Gallery opening

art & design
events

Fotografiska
281 Park Ave S
New York
NY 10010
USA

WHEN Ongoing until Jul 05, 2019 6:00pm - 10:00PM Add to Calendar
The CD & Record Collectors Expo at the Watson Hotel

The CD & Record Collectors Expo at the Watson Hotel

shopping
events

The Watson Hotel
440 W 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
USA

WHEN Sep 21, 2019 9:00am - 6:00pm Add to Calendar
Angel Olsen live at Brooklyn Steel

Angel Olsen live at Brooklyn Steel

music
events

WHEN Ongoing until Nov 23, 2019 7:00PM - 12:00AM
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600