The Enormous Seven-Part Catalogue Raisonné on Pioneering Spiritual Abstractionist Hilma af Klint Is Finally Being Published
The first three of seven volumes are out this month.
When the Guggenheim Museum was planning its 2018 retrospective on Hilma af Klint, the Swedish artist was not exactly a household name. When Klint died in 1944, she left behind a will that precluded her work from being publicly shown for decades.
But the exhibition, showcasing Klint’s visionary abstractions—which she created five years before what is widely considered the birth of abstract art and the Modernist movement—became a runaway hit, attracting more than 600,000 visitors, an institutional record.
Now, the full depth and breadth of Klint’s prolific and extraordinary career is being fully documented in a seven-part catalogue raisonné from Swedish publishing house Bokförlaget Stolpe, distributed by Artbook | DAP. It is the first time that Klint’s dazzling, spiritual oeuvre, which often dabbles in the occult, will be presented in its totality.
This month marked the release of the first three volumes: Hilma af Klint: Spiritualistic Drawings 1896–1905, Hilma af Klint: The Paintings for the Temple 1906–1915, and Hilma af Klint: The Blue Books.
The catalogue begins with the automatic spiritual sketches Klint created as part of the Five, a group of women who sought to contact the dead under the guidance of a medium during séances. It goes on to present the ambitious, large-scale abstract works that she made at the behest of one of her spirit guides, which were to be displayed in a circular temple—and the 10 small sketchbooks she used to illustrate the project when she wanted to share it with others during her travels.
Individual volumes are priced at $50 each, or the full clothbound set can be pre-ordered for $350, with an expected ship date of late November. The catalogue was designed by Patric Leo and includes texts by Daniel Birnbaum and Kurt Almqvist.
See more images from the catalogue below.
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