The work of Swedish painter Hilma af Klint (1862-1944) is currently on show at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof as well as the Swedish pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Af Klint started out in the late 19th century by painting naturalist landscapes not at all unusual for the age. But her later shift into abstraction was one of the most astonishing artistic turning points of the early 20th century. It was all the more remarkable because she worked independently of others who were making a similar break from figurative painting around the same time. Her works, usually dominated by circles and other geometric forms, were informed by idiosyncratic notions of spiritualism and the occult. It was only in the 1980s that af Klint’s art was rediscovered, and she remains far less celebrated than other innovators of abstraction.