Practice Spirituality Wilderness

Hilma AF Klint Watercolours

There’s a very well put-together back-to-back exhibition of Hilma AF Klint and Piet Mondrian at the Tate Modern. It works nicely – both artists moving from painting landscapes to abstraction; and both dallied with spirituality. Amusingly there’s a letter written exhibited from Mondrian to Rudolf Steiner, which Steiner didn’t reply to, and which transaction infuriated Mondrian.

I first came across Klint in this beautiful old book. She’s been manna for the recent gender revision of art, like that written by the art historian Katy Hessell. I do very much like the big canvases but it’s the intimate things that are, on a devotional level, far more powerful. A case in point being Klint’s “Tree of Knowledge” series. Best of all though was these watercolour studies of plants (see above). They look like regular botanical illustrations but, knowing Klint, you sense that they are freighted with so much more. Positively glowing with bhakti.