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Hilma af Klint

Discover the visionary artist disrupting art history

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Late watercolours

Late watercolours

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Late watercolours

In 1922, aged 60, Hilma af Klint began making watercolours, which became the focus of her art for the next two decades. The inherent transparency of watercolour made it an effective medium for the evocation of spiritual spheres and the invisible forces that lie within nature. Ethereal forms arise readily from the flow and melding of the colours.

While af Klint had used watercolour in her paintings since 1915, her interest was intensified through her attendance at lectures at the Goetheanum, the Anthroposophist headquarters in Dornach, Switzerland, in the early 1920s. She was influenced by the ‘wet-on-wet’ watercolour painting technique advocated by Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy, and she shared his view of colour as something that ‘uplifts the human being from the material to the spiritual’. But, as ever, af Klint’s approach was distinctive. The photograph displayed here of her summer studio on the island of Munsö conveys the totality and significance of the watercolours to the artist, who worked on them for the remainder of her life.

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Late watercolours

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Installation view of the Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 12 June – 19 September 2021. Photo: AGNSW, Jenni Carter © AGNSW

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Late watercolours

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Hilma af Klint 'On the viewing of flowers and trees' 1922. Courtesy of The Hilma af Klint Foundation. HaK616 Photo: The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint On the viewing of flowers and trees 1922

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Late watercolours

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Hilma af Klint 'On the viewing of flowers and trees' 1922. Courtesy of The Hilma af Klint Foundation. HaK622 Photo: The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint On the viewing of flowers and trees 1922

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Late watercolours

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Hilma af Klint 'Untitled' 1934. Courtesy of The Hilma af Klint Foundation. HaK958 Photo: The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint Untitled 1934

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Late watercolours

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Installation view of the Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 12 June – 19 September 2021. Photo: AGNSW, Jenni Carter © AGNSW

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