The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint

By Philipp Deines. Foreword by Julia Voss 


A moving biography, told in vivid illustrations, this graphic novel features key moments in the life of Swedish artist and pioneer of abstract painting Hilma af Klint (1862–1944). Long underrecognized, af Klint is amid a sensational rediscovery that continues to take art audiences by storm.


Artist Philipp Deines traces the story of now world-famous af Klint’s unique life and groundbreaking oeuvre through five chapters featuring her development as an artist, her family background, and her relationship to the spiritual. Highlighting how she came to her distinctive paintings, her spiritual quest, and the friends who helped her, this is a story of the strength it took af Klint to continue as an artist against all odds.


Beautifully drawn, brightly colored, and well researched, this graphic novel is a new way of looking at the story of an artist. Referencing Julia Voss’s new biography of af Klint, Deines presents an accessible and lively introduction for many ages. Biography, art history, and contemporary narrative style merge and complement each other in this magnificent visual world.


Publisher: David Zwirner Books

Artists: Hilma af Klint

Contributors: Philipp Deines, Julia Voss

Printer: Livonia Print, Riga

Publication Date: 2022

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 8.25 × 11.75 in | 21 x 29.8 cm

Pages: 120

Reproductions: illustrated throughout

ISBN: 9781644230695

Retail: $35 | $47 CAN | £25

Status: Available

Hilma af Klint

Hilma af Klint (1862–1944) is now regarded as a pioneer of abstract art. Though her paintings were not seen publicly until 1987, her work from the early twentieth century predates the first purely abstract paintings by Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Malevich.

All Hilma af Klint books

Philipp Deines

Philipp Deines is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. In 2015, he published Behind the White Cube (Merve Verlag) with Julia Voss. In 2020, he received the Berlin Comic Scholarship and his work was exhibited in the Museum for Communication Berlin. In 2021, his work was exhibited at Grisebach in Berlin in the exhibition Stu-stu-stu-studioline. The Five Lives of Hilma af Klint (2022) is his first graphic novel. He lives and works in Berlin. 

Julia Voss

Julia Voss is a curator, art critic, and professor. Her biography of Hilma af Klint was on the shortlist of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2020 and became a bestseller. She headed the visual arts department of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung for ten years and has been teaching art history as an honorary professor at Leuphana University in Lüneburg since 2015. She lives in Berlin with her husband Philipp Deines and two children.