The Debate Over Who Invented Abstraction, from Kandinsky to Hilma Af Klint

When the story of art was overturned by a new discovery

Christopher P Jones

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Christopher P Jones is the author of How to Read Paintings, an introduction to some of the most fascinating artworks in art history.

Left: The Ten Largest, No 3, Youth (1907) by Hilma af Klint. Oil & tempera on paper. 328 × 240 cm. Hilma af Klint Foundation, Sweden. Image source Wikimedia Commons. Right: Detail of ‘Composition V’ (1911) by Wassily Kandinsky. Oil on canvas. 190 × 275 cm. Private collection. Image source WikiArt

For decades, it was thought that the first artist to take the momentous step of painting…

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