Emma Kunz, 1892-1963

At a time when our day to day world can feel so difficult to understand, looking out to the metaphysical world of Emma Kunz's drawings is a spiritual journey altogether.

09.9.2020

Work No. 020, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Document Journal

“Everything happens according to a certain regularity which I sense inside me and which never lets me rest.” – Emma Kunz

A childhood spent watching family engaged in the intricate work of weaving gave Swiss-born artist Emma Kunz a fluency in pattern. Though her chosen craft wasn't in textiles, but instead kaleidoscopic colored pencil drawings on graph paper, the innate obsession with repetition carried throughout her life and career.

While Kunz's upbringing explained her gridded interpretations of the world, what made her work so incredibly unique was her calling as a telepathic spiritual healer. This part of who she was as a person and an artist accounts for the mystical quality of everything she produced. She interpreted vibrational energy by using ‘divine pendulums’ as messengers for inspiration while she drew. The resulting drawings are mesmerizing in their detailed, radiating state. They beckon a trance-like viewing, not dissimilar to the one she’d find herself in as she created. In fact, the pieces themselves were sources of healing for her clients, as she would channel their therapeutic work together into these drawings throughout their sessions.

In sum, Kunz left us with is a series of images of a world beyond our own. At a time when our day-to-day reality can feel so difficult to understand, looking out to the metaphysical and spiritual realm and considering what looms in the ethers greater than all of us feels quite fitting.

These images are all courtesy of Emma Kunz’s website.

Courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum 2
Emma Kunz at her working table, Waldstatt, 1958. Courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Frieze
Work No. 117, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum, via Document Journal
Work No. 307, Courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Document Journal
Work No. 117 (n.d.) courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Apollo Magazine
Work No. 396, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum, via Document Journal
Work No. 003, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum, via Document Journal
Work No. 004, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum, via Document Journal
Work No. 012, pencil on paper. Courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum
Work No. 020, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Document Journal
Courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum
Work no. 167, n.d., crayon and oil crayon on graph paper with blue lines, courtesy of Emma Kunz Zentrum via Frieze