Menu

Hilma af Klint

Discover the visionary artist disrupting art history

← Home

Paintings for the temple

Paintings for the temple

Next

Paintings for the temple

In 1906 Hilma af Klint embarked upon an extensive body of work that she titled The paintings for the temple. Upon its completion in 1915, the project comprised 193 individual works organised broadly into ten series, some divided further into sub-series.

Years later, af Klint wrote that completing this project had been ‘the one great task I carried out in my lifetime’. She described it as a ‘commission’ received from the spirit guide Amaliel, and intended to display the paintings in a spiral-shaped temple that embodied spiritual evolution.

Af Klint aimed to convey knowledge of the universe that lies beneath the visible world. She used diverse figurative and abstract elements, and organic and geometric forms to portray, in her words, ‘images of the life that exists beyond everything’. Central to this imagined world was the transcendence of dualities such as light and dark, spirit and matter, male and female.

Enlarge
Next

Paintings for the temple

Next

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

Enlarge
Next

Paintings for the temple

Next

Hilma af Klint 'Group I, Primordial chaos, no 16' 1906–07. Courtesy of the Hilma af Klint Foundation, HaK016. Photo: The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint Group I, Primordial chaos, no 16 1906–07

Enlarge
Next

Paintings for the temple

Next

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

Enlarge
Next

Paintings for the temple

Next

Hilma af Klint ‘Group I, Primordial chaos, no 5’ 1906–07. Courtesy of The Hilma af Klint Foundation, HaK016. Photo: The Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Hilma af Klint Group I, Primordial chaos, no 5 1906–07

Enlarge
Next