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Seeking symmetry? ◽◾

There's been plenty of research as to why people consider symmetry to be the height of beauty, and most findings point to nature. When there's symmetry in nature, we feel that things are in order. We feel pleased and safe and in awe. The same often goes with art, which is often ABOUT symmetry itself. Symmetry also presupposes the idea of duality and relationship—after all, two halves of something have to be present (at the very least) in order for the concept to be at play.

We cannot discuss symmetry without looking at the work of Hilma af Klint. Even how she went about exploring this concept seemed to be characterized by a careful balance of mathematical and spiritual lenses. In her paintings, her use of tonal opposites, symmetrical geometry, and directional mark-making created harmonious images that vibrated with energy. We were inspired to look back at our 2022 release of The Dove, No. 1, Group IX/UW, and we've included an except of it here:

Created in 1910, The Dove, No. 1 follows af Klint’s signature study of dualities. The dove—which represents peace and is often associated with Christianity and the Holy Spirit—is bisected by the vertical helix, a nod to science and mathematics (though predating the discovery of DNA). Religion and science are harmoniously woven throughout the work from the symbolism of darkness and light to the delicate rainbow color refractions carefully executed with geometric precision. 

Similar to the Swan SeriesThe Dove, No. 1 and others in this series strive for equilibrium, often displaying a single form repeated or mirrored in abstract ways across the canvas. At first glance, the composition of The Dove, No. 1 might seem like a departure from af Klint's more biomorphic, organic style pieces, but closer consideration reveals the underlying themes of spiritualism, symbolism, and color-coding which are woven throughout her entire body of work: swaths of color, concentric circles, and curves are also hallmarks of The Ten Largest, No. 7, Adulthood, Group IV. The interplay of light and dark is an important element of The Ten Largest, No. 2, Childhood, Group IV. And the color gradients and reflective light are reminiscent of the pyramid in Altarpiece, No. 1, Group X

Exploring symmetry further: