More than 100 works from a Swedish abstract spiritualist artist who re-wrote art history will arrive in Wellington later this year.
From December this year City Gallery Wellington Te Whare Toi will showcase paintings from groundbreaking artist Hilma Klint.
A spiritualist painter, Klint's creations were inspired by messages from higher powers, and she instructed that her works remain hidden until 20 years after her death – believing the world was not yet ready.
She began painting her most ambitious abstract works in 1906, a time of restricted freedom for female artists - and several years prior to the male contemporaries once considered "the fathers of abstract art".
City Gallery Director Elizabeth Caldwell said they were honoured to introduce Klint's body of art to Aotearoa, and believed it to be relevant to today's turbulent world.
"The secret paintings were created not for fame or fortune, but to speak across time, to audiences of the future," she said.
"Her exploration of humanity's place in the cosmos resonates particularly during a global pandemic and the challenging issues we are experiencing today."
"An underlying theme of Klint's beautiful paintings is a drive toward harmony and interconnection, ideas that are pertinent for our time."
The 100-piece exhibition includes the Ten Largest – colourful paintings more than three metres in height, in which Klint explores the four stages of human development.
It would also include early botanical watercolours, and more than 30 abstract watercolours from her later years – some of which have never been seen in public before.
Wellington mayor Andy Foster said the exhibition would be a drawcard for Wellington, at a time when Klint's work was being recognised globally is an origin of abstract art.
"Her vision and message is represented with a scale and a perspective of colour and design that will inspire, for many, a new interpretation of modern art and the world around us."
The Secret Paintings can be seen at City Gallery Wellington from December 4, 2021 to March 27, 2022. Tickets will be on sale soon.