Here and now but meant for the future?

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From the movie “Personal Shopper,” quotes about Hilma af Klint.

I was in Stockholm last week and I saw a wonderful exhibition at the Modern Art Museum. Hilma af Klint. … She said that spirits commissioned her paintings. She invented abstract art before Kandinsky and Malevich in 1906. She claims that the spirit world communicated with us, through her.

What fascinated me when I discovered Hilma af Klint’s work is that these grand and enigmatic paintings had been painted in the early 1900’s. And that they were made by a Swedish female artist that I hadn’t heard about before. Maybe the most fascinating part is that these pieces were made before the conception of abstract art. But Hilma af Klint kept her art secret. She was sure that they wouldn’t be understood during her life. In her will she decided that they would be kept hidden until 20 years after her death. So, a century ago, Hilma af Klint painted for the future. And the future is here now.

– Hilma af Klint has moved in spiritual circles and participated in seances, later also she was a medium. What actually is regarded as the essence of spiritualism?

– Well, the central idea of spiritualism, is the idea that there is a world beyond our world. And spiritualists try to give empirical proof of this world. In 1848, the Fox sisters heard rappings and they interpreted these rappings as messages from deceased persons. And that was for them real proof of the existence of a higher world beyond our world.

– It’s interesting that the Morse code had been invented 2 years earlier.

– The spiritualists were always very close to the technological avant-garde. For example, the first abstract photographs have been taken by spiritualists.

– Hilma af Klint believed that she received the abstract paintings from higher levels of consciousness. 

– When she started to paint as a medium, she rejected the skills she had learned at the art academy. And that was due to the influence of spiritualism and theosophy. Now you mentioned theosophy, What was Rudolf Steiner’s view on abstract art? Steiner rejected abstract paintings. But that’s not the whole story…

“Personal Shopper”

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