press release

Hilma af Klint. Possible Worlds
Retrospective exhibition at the Pinacoteca in São Paulo, Brazil
03.03.2018 - 16.07.2018

The works of the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint will be presented for the first time in Latin America, with a large solo exhibition held at the Pinacoteca in São Paulo. “Hilma af Klint : Mundos Possíveis” [Hilma af Klint : Possible Worlds] opens on March 3d and runs until July 16th 2018. The exhibition is curated by Jochen Volz, general director of the institution, in collaboration with Daniel Birnbaum, director of Moderna Museet in Stockholm and with the Hilma af Klint Foundation.

130 pieces of the abstract works of Hilma af Klint from the Hilma af Klint Foundation collection will be shown to the Brazilian public at this event. The exhibition includes the entire series of the first abstract paintings, “Primordial Chaos”, painted in 1906; its highlight will be to present all of the paintings of the series “The Ten Largest”, dated 1907 and measuring about 2,40x3,20m each, where Hilma af Klint depicts the 4 stages in life.

During the course of the exhibition, the Pinacoteca will hold a series of conferences in History of Art in relation to the works of Hilma af Klint, relating the rise of abstraction in art, the spirituality movement at the turn of last century, and its influence on Brazilian art.

Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) is today considered as one of the pioneers of abstract painting. Independent of the modernist movements in central Europe, she developed non-figurative painting as early as 1906, at the age of 44. As many of her contemporaries, she was deeply involved in the religious, esoteric and spiritual movements at the turn of last century - primarily Rosencreuz, Theosophy and Christianity, and later on Anthroposophy. Through her paintings, she sought to understand and communicate the various dimensions of human existence.

She kept her abstract work hidden from the public all through her life, as she considered that the time was not yet ready to understand it. When Hilma af Klint passed away in the autumn of 1944, she left behind more than 1.200 abstract paintings, which had earlier not been shown to outsiders, and more than 124 notebooks and scetchbooks of around 26.000 handwritten and typed pages.

The international debut of Hilma as Klint took place with the exhibition “The Spiritual in Art – Abstract Paintings 1890 – 1985”, held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1986. The works of Hilma af Klint have since been displayed in various exhibitions in the Nordic countries, in Europe and in the Unites States. In 2013, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm held the as of yet largest retrospective exhibition of the artist, featuring a collection of approximately 230 paintings. This exhibition continued as a travelling exhibition throughout Europe and made a significant impact in making the name of Hilma af Klint known to a larger public.

After the exhibition at the Pinacoteca in São Paulo, the next one programmed by the Hilma af Klint Foundation is a retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York, the first solo exhibition of Hilma af Klint in the United States.