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The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint

The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint

Simon & Schuster

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Artist Philipp Deines traces the story of now world-famous af Klint’s unique life and groundbreaking oeuvre through five chapters featuring her development as an artist, her family background, and her relationship to the spiritual. Highlighting how she came to her distinctive paintings, her spiritual quest, and the friends who helped her, this is a story of the strength it took af Klint to continue as an artist against all odds.

Beautifully drawn, brightly colored, and well researched, this graphic novel is a new way of looking at the story of an artist. Referencing Julia Voss’s new biography of af Klint, Deines presents an accessible and lively introduction for many ages. Biography, art history, and contemporary narrative style merge and complement each other in this magnificent visual world.

Product Details

  • Product Type: Biography, Hardcover
  • 120 pages, with 120 illustrations
  • Published in 2022
  • Shipping Dimensions: 11.9 × 8.5 × 0.7 inches  (30.2 × 21.6 × 1.8 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 lb (25.6 oz; 726 g)
  • SKU010009977 | 9781644230695

About Philipp Deines and Julia Voss

Philipp Deines is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. In 2015, he published Behind the White Cube (Merve Verlag) with Julia Voss. In 2020, he received the Berlin Comic Scholarship and his work was exhibited in the Museum for Communication Berlin. In 2021, his work was exhibited at Grisebach in Berlin in the exhibition Stu-stu-stu-studioline. The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint (2022) is his first graphic novel. He lives and works in Berlin.

Julia Voss is a curator, art critic, and professor. Her biography of Hilma af Klint was on the shortlist of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2020 and became a bestseller. She headed the visual arts department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for ten years and has been teaching art history as an honorary professor at Leuphana University in Lüneburg since 2015. She lives in Berlin with her husband Philipp Deines and two children.

About the Artist, Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint was a pioneering Swedish artist, born in 1862, who made significant contributions to the abstract art movement long before its official inception. She is widely regarded as one of the first artists to explore abstract art, predating famous abstract painters like Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich. Inspired by spiritualism, mysticism, and theosophy, af Klint delved into the exploration of spirituality and the unseen realms through her art. Her work often incorporated symbolic and geometric shapes, vibrant colors, and intricate patterns, creating a unique and enigmatic visual language.

Af Klint's most renowned body of work is arguably "The Paintings for the Temple," a series of abstract paintings created with the guidance of spiritual entities during seances. This groundbreaking series, completed between 1906 and 1915, is a testament to her visionary and experimental approach to art. However, her abstract works were largely unrecognized during her lifetime, as she kept them private and stipulated that they should not be shown publicly until at least 20 years after her death.

It wasn't until many years later, well into the 20th century, that Hilma af Klint's extraordinary contributions to abstract art were rediscovered and gained the recognition they deserved. Her innovative and spiritually-infused approach to art continues to captivate audiences worldwide, solidifying her position as a visionary artist and an essential figure in the history of abstract art.

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