An expansive new exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW pays tribute to one of the most important art pioneers you’ve never heard of
When encountering the little-known work of Hilma af Klint, you may find yourself asking some questions. “It’s out of time and out of place; it’s almost miraculous,” says Sue Cramer, who co-curated a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. “What is this work? Where did it come from? How did it get here?”
Born in 1862, the Swedish woman was one of the world’s first abstract artists. Yet where the other founding fathers of 20th century abstraction – the likes of Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich – became indelible features of art history, af Klint has remained conspicuously absent, confined to its footnotes. In all likelihood, she is one of the most important pioneers you’ve never heard of.