Hedvig Ersman calls out GODA and acute ArT on twitter


On November 11, 2022, Hedvig Ersman, granddaughter of Hilma af Klint’s nephew, Erik af Klint, took to Twitter to express her condemnation of turning the artist’s paintings into an NFT series. Writing under the handle @hilma_af_klint, she tweeted: ‘The moral rights of the Hilma af Klint estate belongs to her heirs, ie to the af Klint family. The family demands that the sale of NFTs be canceled.’ 


Ersman also published a thread denouncing the three-day auction of ‘Hilma af Klint – NFTs’. She outlined several legal issues related to the digital commercialization of the artist’s work and, more importantly, emphasized that the NFT sale goes against af Klint’s wishes. Jointly with London-based studio Acute Art, Pharrell Williams’ Gallery of Digital Assets (GODA) launched the auction for a limited time, specifically between November 14-17. Interested bidders were offered to choose from 163 pieces, starting at 0.15 ETH. 




GODA specifically NFT-ed Hilma af Klint’s celebrated ‘Paintings for the Temple’ series, creating a digital extension of a seven-volume catalogue raisonné finalized this year by Stolpe Publishing. The latter documents the Swedish artist’s most acclaimed body of work, including paintings that have never been exhibited before. A non-commercial edition of the NFTs has also been produced and remains archived with the publishing house.


While digital versions of the artworks are being commercialized, GODA initially clarified that the physical paintings explicity belong to the non-profit Hilma af Klint Foundation ‘and will never be for sale.’




‘What can we do to help?’ | the internet shows support


While detailing her cause via Twitter threads, Ersman was quickly joined by supporters of her message. Some encouraged her to pursue legal action (Get a lawyer and take them to court. Seriously. @TonyShafer13), while others chimed in with sarcasm, reassuring her that the future of NFTs is a shaky one (NFTs are still a thing? @CProtapas / Don’t worry. Like crypto, NFTs will fail. @solonjeburnett).


One user even expressed genuine concern and support (What can we do to help? @menumcyolanda), to which Ersman replied: ‘An upproar! Write articles, debate, shun the sellers, turn down the auction if it takes place. The sellers should withdraw the very idea of selling NTFs of the works of Hilma af Klint.’


It is still unclear what GODA and Acute Art’s responses are to this new online campaign against NFT-ing af Klint’s famous ‘Paintings for the Temple’ collection. For the ones unfamilliar with her work, designboom gives an overview of the peculiar and deeply insightful art series, below. 

hilma af klint relative speaks out against turning her paintings into NFTs
the artist’s esoteric paintings evoked ideas of polarity and unity



the fascinating, esoteric world of hilma af klint 


Born in 1862 in Stockholm, Hilma af Klint was raised as a devout Christian before delving into the esoteric worlds of spiritualism, theosophy, and anthroposophy. As her new beliefs burgeoned within, she began exploring ideas of polarity and unity. Her acclaimed collection, ‘Paintings for the Temple’ series, completed between 1906 and 1915, perfectly exemplifies that newfound spiritual awakening. However, it took a century for her work to finally get the recognition and praise it deserved; indeed, today, many consider af Klint’s spiritually-infused art to have been ahead of its time.


According to Stolpe Publishing’s co-editors Kurt Almqvist and Daniel Birnbaum, ‘the whole sequence can perhaps be understood as af Klint’s pursuit of an original ‘oneness,’ a basic unity which she believed existed at the world’s creation. Af Klint felt this integrity had since been lost, giving way to a world of polarities: good and evil, woman and man, matter and spirit. She saw these dichotomies as having become the principle of all life. The different series within The Paintings for the Temple individually try to reconcile these divisions—each with their own scale, aesthetic, and theme—while simultaneously revealing her many influences from the time in which she painted.


Furthermore, as the name of her beloved series suggests, af Klint hoped she could one day house her 193 bold-patterned paintings in a ‘spiraling architectural structure.

hilma af klint relative speaks out against turning her paintings into NFTs
‘Hilma af Klint – Paintings for the Temple’ NFT series is launching on Nov. 14 | all images courtesy of GODA

hilma af klint relative speaks out against turning her paintings into NFTs
193 NFTs from af Klint’s acclaimed body of work will be up for sale on the GODA platform

hilma af klint relative speaks out against turning her paintings into NFTs
the NFT series is a digital continuation of a seven-volume catalogue raisonné by Stolpe Publishing

hilma af klint relative speaks out against turning her paintings into NFTs
Hilma af Klint (1862-1944)



project info:


name: Hilma af Klint – Paintings for the Temple

type: NFT series (193 tokens) 

available on: Gallery of Digital Assets (GODA) | @thegoda.io

in collaboration with: Acute Art | @acuteart, Stolpe Publishing | @bokforlagetstolpe

supported by:  HAF Foundation

launch period: November 14-17, 2022