The art world has been knocked off its feet by Hilma af Klint. Shaken by a completely unknown woman artist who, 69 years after her death, challenges the historic timeline and authorship of abstract painting. af Klint’s work is bright, bold, often monumental in scale, and decidedly non-representative in nature.
My interest in af Klint’s work is to explore her relation to scientific visualization. Many voices in the art world are claiming that af Klint’s works represent the “first” abstract paintings, but I think they are jumping to the wrong conclusion. I think her motivation was actually to visualize spiritual concepts. They see this as presaging abstract expressionism when really it’s part of a movement toward diagramming the immaterial world. The two concepts are very different.