Hilma af Klint: Painting the Future and Channeling the Secrets of The Masters

The visionary mind is one who has the ability to see the future and gaze into the dreams of days gone by. With the synthesis of imagination and intuition, the visionary envisions time as art, every moment as malleable as clay, formlessness formed with the kindling of desire, stoked by the fires of will.

Hilma af Klint was a visionary thinker, who transcended her time.

With her mind as a medium of spirit, timeless wisdom was channeled through her paintings. The future seen, and created, on vivid canvases, which transport you to a portal of pure potential.

Born in Stockholm in 1862, she went on to graduate with honors from the city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1887. After graduation, she made a name for herself as a respected painter, while having a brief stint as secretary of the Association of Swedish Women Artists.

Around this time, Af Klint also had an initiation into higher realms, through a deep interest (and connection to) spiritualism, Theosophy (popularized through the work of Helena Blavatsky, as well as Alice A. Bailey), Rosicrucianism, and Buddhism.

“As taught by Blavatsky, Theosophy holds that there is an ancient and secretive brotherhood of spiritual adepts known as Ascended Masters, who—although found across the world—are centered in Tibet. These Masters are believed to have cultivated great wisdom and supernatural powers, and Theosophists believe that it was they who initiated the modern Theosophical movement through disseminating their teachings via Blavatsky. They believe that these Masters are attempting to revive knowledge of an ancient religion once found across the world and which will again come to eclipse the existing world religions. Theosophical groups nevertheless do not refer to their system as a “religion”. Theosophy preaches the existence of a single, divine Absolute. It promotes an emanationist cosmology in which the universe is perceived as outward reflections from this Absolute. Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and claims that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. It promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement, although it does not stipulate particular ethical codes.” (Wikipedia)

1889 she joined the Swedish Lodge of the Theosophical Society, and in 1896 she began meeting regularly with four other female artists to cultivate their shared interest in occult practice. “The Five”, would conduct seances, go into trance and work with automatic writing. They believed to be in communication (communion) with various “spirit guides” by the names of Ananda, Clemens, Esther, Georg, and Gregor – the group of spirits, were collectively dubbed the “High Masters”.

In 1904, the High Masters divined that a temple filled with paintings was to be created, the other four within the five declined, and thus The Paintings for the Temple, produced between 1906 and 1915, was Af Klint’s first endeavor into incorporating these philosophies into her work on a grander scale, although she had come to realize within the exploration of these mysteries (and after being criticized by Rudolf Steiner), that the world wasn’t quite ready for their magnitude.

“If you like to hallucinate but disdain the requisite stimulants, spend some time in the Guggenheim Museum’s staggering exhibition.” – The New York Times

In her will, she specified that her work should be kept secret for at least 20 years after her death, and when Af Klint died at 82-years-old (1944), after a traffic accident, she left behind more than 1200 paintings and drawings, and over 150 notebooks with her thoughts and studies.

Af Klint’s work is currently on exhibit at The Guggenheim Museum in New York City until April 23, 2019.


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