Symposium: World Receivers: Mediumistic Art in Theory and Practice 1850-1950

Independently of each other, Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884), Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), and Emma Kunz (1892–1963) developed abstract imagery highly charged with meaning. The artists saw themselves as receivers of messages that only they could perceive. Their artworks resulted from their spiritual experiences and their communication with a higher world. With their works, all three strove to make visible the laws of nature, the spiritual, and the supernatural.
John Whitney (1917–1995), James Whitney (1921–1982), and Harry Smith (1923–1991) also endeavored to use artistic means to visualize spiritual worlds and cosmic principles. In California during the postwar era, they produced abstract films, which—like the works of Houghton, af Klint, and Kunz—pose new challenges to art theory in their dual role as aesthetically convincing works of art and instruments for gaining higher insight.


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01/25/2019 - 01/26/2019

Lenbachhaus Munich, Germany