Hilma af Klint, Group IX/SUW, The Swan, No. 17 (Grupp IX/SUW, Svanen, nr 17), 1915
from The SUW/UW Series (Serie SUW/UW), Oil on canvas, 150.5 x 151 cm, The Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm, Photo: Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Abstract modern art was a man’s world in the early twentieth century, with artists from Pollock to Mondrian making strides in the new territory. Except that it was a woman who paved the way nearly a decade earlier.

On display now at the Guggenheim Museum is a solo exhibit of the Swedish artist, Hilma af Klint — a woman ahead of her time. Spanning 1906 to 1920, it features more than 165 of af Klint’s groundbreaking abstract artworks, inspired by her interest in religion and the spiritual world. At her own request — convinced that only the future would understand this style of art — her bold and colorful paintings were kept from the public for 20 years after her death in 1944. The artist left behind nearly 1,200 works of art. Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future is on view through April, 2019.

Installation view: Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 12, 2018–April 23, 2019. Photo: David Heald. © 2018 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.