"Land lies in water; it is shaded green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang from the simple blue to green.
Or does the land lean down to lift from under.
drawing it unperturbed from itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?"
- excerpt from "The Map" by Elizabeth Bishop, from North and South (1934)f
To me, Seven-Pointed Star looks like nothing so much as a map. Knowing that Hilma af Klint was born into a family of naval officers and cartographers, the comparison seems spot on. She spent her entire life pondering in monumental paintings. the spiritual dimensions of science.
She was a member of the second generation of women who were allowed to study at the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm where she was able to sketch male nudes in life class. What were considered unseemly activities for a woman interested af Klint not at all. She traveled far and wide, visiting Norway, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and London. Not everyone was accepting of those female students.
"It takes a man to create a Parthenon frieze or paint the Sistine Chapel."
"Woman must go. Immediately. Has a single one of these weak women at the Academy become an artist? For me there is not one who has any value at all." - 1889
These misogynistic comments came from fellow Swede Carl Larsson, an artist known for idyllic scenes of family life.
Klinr spent her entire life pondering the fundamental conditions of existence in monumental paintings. Her ideal building was a spiral; she would have been thrilled with the Guggenheim Museum's retrospective of her work and that the exhibition single-handedly changed the shape of art history.
Image: Hilma af Klint - Group V, Series, Seven-Pointed Star, Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
And now in Brussels ! https://www.bozar.be/en/calendar/swedish-ecstasy
"Misogynes", yes, these words of Carl Larsson, who sought to make everything else in his painting and probably did not understand his research.
Tania, I wish I could be there to see this. Thanks for the link.
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