Architecturally, the Guggenheim is a perfect structure for exhibiting a lifetime of work by Hilma af Klint, Swedish artist and mystic. The spiral climb to the peak of the building mimics the artist's obsession with geometry evident in her now-celebrated abstract works.
Klint's paintings are often visual representations of complicated spiritual ideas. In fact, much of Klint's art was made in response to her seances with a collection of spirits she referred to as the "High Masters." Despite her prolific career, her abstract works largely went unseen for two main reasons: the High Masters instructed her not to show them, and Rudolf Steiner, philosopher and esotericist, advised her to wait fifty years before exhibiting them. Humble and earnest in her spiritualism, she willingly stored away more than 1200 works. As the century progressed, she watched as male artists went on to be lauded as pioneers of a style she had been working in for years.
Now, Klint's prescient genius is openly on display. “The Ten Largest” (true to their name, each painting measures around 129" x 95"), are the most impressive of the collection. Bursting with delirious color and experimental renderings of shapes in nature, the paintings look as if they could have been made this year by some young ingenue. That they were made in 1907 might make you believe in all-knowing High Masters.