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Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings are considered among the first abstract works known in Western art history. A considerable body of her work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian.
In September 1907, Hilma af Klint made note of a vision foretelling that ‘ten paradisaically beautiful paintings’ were to be executed that would ‘give the world a glimpse’ of the stages of life. The following month, she began work on The ten largest.
Predominantly abstract, these monumental paintings represent four stages of human development: childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Botanical references convey her view of humanity’s connection to the natural world. Words invented by the artist, or received from spirits, appear throughout, sometimes as wildly looping text.
Each composition took only four days to paint. Following instruction from spirit guides, af Klint requested that Cornelia Cederberg – a fellow artist and member of the spiritualist group The Five – assist in their creation, though under af Klint’s direction.
Because of their size, the works were most likely created on the studio floor – a radical departure from the easel painting conventions of the day. Af Klint intended the paintings to be hung together in a spiral temple, creating what she described as a ‘beautiful wall covering’.
The Hilma af Klint tray range was developed exclusively for The Art Gallery of New South Wales' 2021 Hilma af Klint exhibition.
- Artwork: Hilma af Klint
- Handcrafted in Sweden
- Brand: Art Gallery of NSW
- Food Contact Safe; Dishwasher Safe
- Materials: FSC-certified wood; Protective layer of melamine