Paul Klee

Paul Klee
8 records
(Switzerland, 1879–1940)

A spectacular ensemble of eleven works affords an overview of Swiss artist Paul Klee's illustrious career as one of the most imaginative artists of the twentieth century, and an inspirational teacher at the Bauhaus.

His luminous watercolors such as In the Kairouan-Style, Transposed in a Moderate Way and Motion of a Landscape both from his trip to Tunisia in 1914, abstract the bright sunlight and pure colors of the North African landscape and villages into compositions of colored squares and churning circular forms. So important was this new style for Klee that he wrote in his journal, “Color and I are one. I am a painter.” Lightning Stroke (1920) exemplifies his masterful combination of line and color, as well as his lifelong procedure of occasionally cutting and reassembling his compositions in a collage-like fashion. Using the simplest means, a zigzag line of lightning becomes a fallen figure. This line is rendered using an oil transfer drawing process that Klee invented, which often enlivens his compositions with rich textures and smudges. In Pride of the Gate Keeper (1929) Klee’s interest in children’s art and gentle humor are combined in a charming and sly watercolor. Using a radically simplified vocabulary of fields of colored squares upon which simple configurations similar to ancient ruins were painted in bold black lines, he created lucid works of child-like simplicity.

- Stephanie Barron, Senior Curator, Modern Art, 2007