Hilma af Klint

The Secret Paintings



ISBN: 9781741741520 Categories: ,


Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings will be published in association with a major survey of the remarkable work of this visionary Swedish-born artist (1862-1944) drawn from the Hilma af Klint Foundation in Sweden. Af Klint is now widely regarded as one of the world’s pioneers of 20th-century abstract art.

Hidden from view for decades, as stipulated in her will, the startling re-discovery of af Klint’s work has captured the imagination of contemporary audiences, with a 2019 exhibition of af Klint’s work at the Guggenheim taking New York by storm.

No one had created paintings like hers before – so monumental in scale, with such radiant colour combinations, enigmatic symbols and other-worldly shapes. In an era of limited creative freedom for women, af Klint’s secret paintings became an outlet for her prodigious intelligence, spiritual quest and ground-breaking artistic vision.

The book with include over 110 artworks ranging from her large canvasses to small watercolours (many of which have not been shown or published before) and pages from her beautifully detailed notebooks, as well as a selection of photographs and other images.

Five essays and an illustrated chronology – written by curators, her biographer and other specialists – reveal new research on af Klint and her practice and her place in art history.

Additional information

Weight 1384 g
Dimensions 22.2 x 28.9 cm
Publisher name Art Gallery of New South Wales
Publication date 25 June 2021
Number of pages 256
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Sue Cramer, Contributions by Nicholas Chambers, Jennifer Higgie, Aaron Lister, and Julia Voss
Dimensions 22.2 x 28.9 cm
Weight 1384 g


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Sue Cramer is curator at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne where her exhibitions and publications include Cubism and Australian art 2009 (co-curated with Lesley Harding) and Less is more: minimal and post-minimal art in Australia 2012. Sue has worked previously at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (exhibitions co-ordinator/curator); Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (director); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (curator); and as the art critic for The Age newspaper in Melbourne. In addition to writing exhibition catalogues she has contributed several articles to international and Australian journals.

Nicholas Chambers is senior curator modern and contemporary international art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. His exhibitions and associated publications at the Gallery include Adman: Warhol before pop (2018) and Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection (2016). Chambers has previously worked as Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, USA, as well as an adjunct professor at the Department of History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, he worked at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art as curator of international art.

Jennifer Higgie is an Australian novelist, screenwriter, art critic and editor of the London-based contemporary arts magazine, Frieze.

Aaron Lister is senior curator at City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi in Aotearoa New Zealand. He was previously exhibitions curator at the National Library of New Zealand, a lecturer in the art history departments of Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago and has worked as an independent curator and writer.

Julia Voss is a scholar in history of science, art history, and picture theory, Hilma af Klint biographer and executive editor of the visual arts section of the large German daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.