Hilma af Klimt – “egoless consciousness”?
I’m so fascinated by this artist.
Swedish painter Hilma Af Klimt died in 1944 and made her work mostly in secret. The reviewer’s idea of her work transcending Western tropes of the avant-garde (who invented abstract painting first, blah blah) is kind of fun.
More interesting to me is the motivation to make her work – she was a “spiritualist”, into mysticism and seances, and received a commission from these experiences to make a body of work, but to not show any of it during her lifetime. Supposedly this was to save the work for a future, more evolved audience. The writer of the article describes her spirituality as “egoless consciousness” – whoa. How would that motivate and change an artistic practice? What would I make if I knew nobody would ever see any of it, at least in my lifetime? What art would I make solely for “God”? I want that.
Also, her paintings are gorgeous.