Science, geometry, séances: the extraordinary spirit world of once-forgotten artist Hilma af Klint.
Commissioned by a spirit guide, Swedish artist Hilma af Klint spent a decade of her life painting 193 works for a spiralling temple. The temple was never built, and when she died in 1944 she entrusted the works to a nephew, instructing that they not be opened for 20 years. It was a protective act. The world, she thought, was not ready for them.
These temple works were “far ahead of their time,” says Sue Cramer, the curator of The Secret Paintings, which comes to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) in June. “For a long time, her work was dismissed because it was spiritual, and therefore not art.”
It has been a remarkable reappraisal. In 2012, when MoMA staged its canonical exhibition Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925, her work was not even included.
With an eye for capturing the colonial holds of history while communicating her profound spiritual connection to Country, in My Place – Before Marlene Gilson paints the history of her home. In vibrant, detailed and narrative-driven works, she shows the ongoing presence of Wathaurung people through the goldrush, alongside the building of Ballarat and the years that followed. Full story on Art Guide.
I spoke with Jumaadi about his major exhibition My love is an Island Far Away at Mosman Art Gallery. The title is taken from a poem by Chairil Anwar. As he says:
The poem is celebrating the independence from the Dutch in 1945. It was written about 1946, and then he died a year later, around 27-years old. It captured the restlessness of the time, but in the manner of romantic poetry. I guess that’s how I approach my work, with a grand narrative but very personalised. It’s about love and birth and a way of connecting people.
In this five-page feature for Art Guide, I look at the old hierarchies between art, craft and design and the artists who are dismantling them – a process that’s taken longer in Australia than elsewhere. Full story in the July/August 2015 issue.