While the straightforward style of her expression amazes us, her works and the exhibition astonish us as well. This astonishment comes from the realization that Hilma af Klint is another origin of abstract paintings. Conventionally, artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian are recognized as founders of abstract paintings.
© Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk, Photo: David von Becker
Abstracts are said to have started around 1910, but if we consider af Klint’s abstract paintings dating back to 1906 as a forerunner, we must reconsider the history of abstract painting. That is where the significance of this exhibition being held in a museum for modern art lies. History connects the present and the past, and the role of the past is to bring about the present. Even a work from the past can influence the present if we revisit the work. In other words, modern pieces are not the only works that reflect the present.
© Stiftelsen Hilma af Klints Verk
Is this form of expression that transcends time and influences us today just wishful interpreting on our part, born out of our desire to question abstract paintings? No, that is not the case. While we cannot know whether af Klint was conscious of painting abstracts, it is most likely that she bequeathed her style of expression to the future. That is why she decided to reveal her art to the public 20 years after her death. She must have realized that people would require such psychological and direct forms of expression, and that when her works became necessary her works would communicate most effectively. Indeed the style of her works appears to have traveled through time to change the future. Hilma af Klint’s artwork has endured the passing of time, and has, in fact, even increased in its power to enamor us. She is an artist from the past, but her works continue to move us and surprise us today.
Hilma af Klint Exhibition
Date: June 15th – October 6th, 2013
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Thursday till 20:00, Saturday, Sundays from 11:00)
Closed on Monday
Tickets: 8 euros (14 euros with permanent collection)
Place: Hamburger Banhof Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: Invalidenstr. 50–51, D – 10557 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 266 424242