Sydney secures blockbuster exhibition featuring visionary abstract artist, Hilma af Klint

The Art Gallery of New South Wales will present Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings from 12 June 2021 with the support of the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the Australian exclusive was an exciting addition to the state’s cultural calendar.

“As identified in our recently launched Visitor Economy Strategy 2030, investing in world-class events is a key pillar in achieving our goal to be the premier visitor economy in the Asia Pacific.

“When New York City’s prestigious Guggenheim Museum presented a Hilma af Klint exhibition in 2018-19, it broke attendance records.

“Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings will be a must-see event when it opens in Sydney this June and will play an important role in attracting visitors and Sydneysiders to the heart of our Harbour City,” Mr Ayres said.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said it was a unique chance to see the works of this highly regarded pioneer of abstract art.

“While Swedish-born artist Hilma af Klint began creating radically abstract paintings in 1906, she rarely exhibited them because she did not think the world was ready to see them.

“Now, 77 years after her death, Australian audiences have a rare opportunity to marvel at her incredible paintings, many of which show her working with abstraction prior to renowned artists Kandinsky and Mondrian. This is a major coup for Sydney,” Mr Harwin said.

Art Gallery of NSW Director Dr Michael Brand said the exhibition is the first major survey in the Asia Pacific region of this trailblazing artist who stood for too long outside the accepted story of European modernism.

“Stored away and scarcely known for decades, the startling re-discovery of af Klint’s ‘secret paintings’ has captured the imagination of contemporary audiences and at last placed the artist in the canon of truly imaginative and innovative twentieth century artists.

“We are privileged to present this exhibition of af Klint’s ground-breaking paintings, along with more than 30 watercolours from the last decades of the artist’s life, several of which have never before been exhibited, and a selection of notebooks, which give fascinating insights into her influences and processes.”

Hilma af Klint: The Secret Paintings will open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 12 June and runs until 19 September 2021. Tickets on sale soon.

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