Red swan
19 / August

Abstract Art - first painted by a woman?

Abstract art is widely believed to have been started by Wassily Kandinsky, but was it?

I don't know why I am surprised by this. It is general knowledge by now, in the past mostly men were encouraged to work or fight or vote or to live life fully if we want to go that far. History didn't record all the groundbreaking things woman did. In Sweden however, woman were allowed to study art in 1882, which enabled Hilda af Klint to enrol at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm.

She was proficient in painting landscapes and animals and people, but the thing that really interested her were the things unseen. Read this interesting article on the TATE's website, describing the path she followed to get to the creation of abstract art, it seems a few years before Wassily Kandinsky. Their paths also had parallels, highlighted in this article.

Hilda af Klint seems to have arrived at the place of inspiration first and painted abstract art a few years before Kandinsky.


Below is one of her images I really like - Red Swan, painted in 1914-1915