Hilma af Klint was a Swedish artist and mystic whose paintings were the first known Western abstract art.
A considerable body of her abstract work predates the first purely abstract compositions by Kandinsky. Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas.
Af Klint’s work can be understood in the wider context of the Modernist search for new forms in artistic, spiritual, political, and scientific systems at the beginning of the twentieth century. There was a similar interest in spirituality by other artists during this same period, including Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevitch.