Our newest Vintage Edition—a celebration of color, shapes, and abstract art in their purest forms—honors the mother of abstraction herself, Hilma af Klint, on what would be her 159th birthday. The Swan, No. 17, Group IX/SUW is part of a group of 24 oil canvases created between 1914 and 1915. More geometric in style than the Ten Largest group, the Swan paintings employ symmetry and balance throughout the series, often displaying a single form repeated or mirrored in abstract ways across the canvas.
No. 17’s central circle suggests a duality that appears in much of af Klint’s work: light vs. dark, whole vs. part, grayscale vs. bright colors. At first glance, the composition of No. 17 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. The single, central dark triangle in The Swan, No. 17 is reminiscent of the pyramid apex in Altarpiece, No. 1, Group X.
Each of af Klint’s works at its core is meditative. Without any knowledge of the beliefs and motifs behind each piece, you’re drawn into the paintings by meandering lines and strategic color composition. Whether by instinctual thought patterns or connecting to something divine through art, af Klint’s work offers a momentary abstract escape.
With art for everyone,
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