The Klint Collective
How new revelations about Hilma af Klint threaten the genius narrative
The marketing used for Hilma af Klint was off from the very start. And not just the yoga pants, printed with the artwork from her Childhood paintings that were sold in the gift shop at her Guggenheim show.
From the beginning, the “discoverers” of af Klint’s enormous trove of paintings, drawings, notebooks, and plans for a temple were pushing a narrative of the genius artist that lined up more with the general public’s fantasy of what that was like than with the reality of af Klint’s life and work. Her first major posthumous show labeled her “A Pioneer of Abstraction,” an inventor of modern art, despite every bit of evidence that she was doing something entirely different.
With recent revelations about af Klint’s work -- including that her collection was not the work of a single artist but that she was just one of thirteen women creating the temple project and some of the most famous works attributed to her are now understood to be the work of others – that constructed story is falling apart fast.
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