Paul Klee was born on Dec. 18, 1879, in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
. His childhood
love of music
, which had strong effects on his life and work, was forged by his family
, who were all musicians
. Paul Klee’s art
is often categorized as humorous
and highly influenced by dreams
. A combination of art forms from surrealism
, Klee’s works were small
. He described his own work as "Taking a line for a walk".
During a period of three years from 1898 to 1901, Klee studied under Heinrich Knirr
. Although a violinist
, Klee chose to study art
, and he attended the Munich Academy
to study under Franz von Stuck
To nurse his creativity
after his studies, Klee went to Italy and finally landed in Bern in 1902. In 1903, Klee’s works were etchings
and pen and ink
, and were heavily influenced by Francisco de Goya
. The most famous examples from this period are Virgin in a Tree
and Two Men Meet, Each Believing the Other to Be of Higher Rank
In 1906 a series of satirical
etchings exhibited at the Munich Secession
brought some fame to Klee. In the same year, Klee married a pianist
named Lily Stumpf, and they moved to Munich. The move to Munich proved to be promising, for Klee was exposed to Modern art
. In Munich, Klee’s art was shown at the Kunstmuseum (Art museum
) Bern in 1910 and at Moderne Galerie, Munich, in 1911.
After gaining fame
, Klee met several famous avant-garde
artists: Alexej Jawlensky
, Vasily Kandinsky
, August Macke
, Franz Marc
. Klee went on to show his art at Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, in 1912 and the Erste deutsche Herbstsalon (Babelfish says: First German autumn salon
at the Der Sturm Gallery, Berlin, in 1913.
For a well deserved vacation
, Klee visited Paris
in 1912. There, he was exposed to the work of Georges Braque
and Pablo Picasso
. Klee then went on to help found the Neue Müncher Secession
After a trip to Tunisia
in 1914, Klee started focusing on colors
in his art. Klee wrote:
"Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever. That is the significance of this blessed moment. Color and I are one. I am a painter."
His newfound passion for color brought his famous Red and White Domes
, which is quite characteristic of the time.
Around 1917, Klee’s paintings incorporated rich symbols
language that Klee explained, were drawn from the unconscious
: "Art does not reproduce the visible
, it makes visible." Klee continued this thought by exploring many different media
's and artistic
By 1920 Klee gained fame enough to merit a retrospective
at the Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich. At the same time he became a teacher of art
. Klee taught at the
(a German, state sponsored school for art, architecture, and design) in Weimar from 1921 to 1926 and then when the school was relocated to Dessau from 1926 to 1931. Teaching at Bauhaus allowed Klee to associate with other masters such as Kandinsky
and Lyonel Feininger
Die Blaue Vier
(The blue 4, or the four biggest names from Der Blue Reiter
), a group consisting of Lyonel Feininger, Jawlensky
, Kandinsky, and Klee, was founded in 1924. The group greatly contributed to the advancement of abstract art
. About this time Klee’s art was showcased
at Société Anonyme, New York
, in 1924; then his first major show in Paris
occurred a year later at the Galerie Vavin-Raspail; next his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art
, New York, in 1930.
Klee had another short stint of teaching
shortly before the Nazis
forced him to stop in 1933. Klee went back to Bern
in 1934. The Nazis used seventeen of Klee's works to show examples of what they called “degenerate art
” (Entartete Kunst
Rather than flat out painting an object
in a traditional form, Klee gave a personal, abstract system that are figurative pieces of beauty
. He took the world and filtered it through his subconscious, his dreams, and his words, then painted.
Klee developed scleroderma
, which forced his to changed his art style
, and was eventually killed by the disease
. Although his final paintings were dark
and focused on death
, his final painting, Still Life
, is a peaceful amalgam
of his life. Klee had exhibitions in Bern and Zurich
before dying on June 29, 1940 in Switzerland.
A partial list of Klee’s most famous works (msg me to update, to list all would make this node HUGE!)
- La belle jardinière (ein Biedermeiergespenst)
- 1914 Guess when!
- Red and White Domes
1914; Watercolor and body color on Japanese, vellum mounted on cardboard, 14.6 x 13.7 cm; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.
- Remembrance of a Garden
1914; Watercolor on linen paper mounted on cardboard, 25.2 x 21.5 cm; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dusseldorf.
- Southern (Tunisian) Gardens
1919; Watercolor, 9.5 x 7.5 in; Collection Heinz Berggruen, Paris.
- Dream City
1921; Watercolor and oil, 18 7/8 x 12 1/4 in; Private collection, Turin.
- The Golden Fish1925 ; Oil and watercolor on paper, mounted on cardboard, 50 x 69 cm (19 1/8 x 27 in); Kunsthalle, Hamburg.
- Ancient Sound, Abstract on Black
1925; Oil on cardboard, 15 x 15 in; Kunstsammlung, Basel.
- Highway and Byways
1929; Oil on canvas, 32 5/8 x 26 3/8 in; Collection Christoph and Andreas Vowinckel.
- Ad Parnassum1932; Oil on canvas, 100 x 126 cm (39 x 49 in).
- Southern Gardens
1936; Oil on paper, mounted on cardboard, 10 3/8 x 12 1/4 in; Collection Norman Granz, Geneva.
- Legend of the Nile
1937; Pastel on cotton cloth mounted on burlap, 69 x 61 cm (27 1/8 x 24 in); Kunstmuseum Bern.
- Insula Dulcamara
1938; Oil on newsprint, mounted on burlap, 31 1/2 x 69 in; Klee Foundation, Bern.
- Park of Idols
1939; Watercolor on blackened paper, 14 x 8 1/4 in; Collection Felix Klee, Bern.
1939; Paste color, watercolor, and oil on paper, 9 1/2 x 12 1/4 in; Collection Dr. Bernhard Sprengel, Hanover
1940; Oil on burlap, 18 7/8 x 17 3/8 in; Collection Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Zimmerman, New York.
- Sinbad the Sailor aka Battle Scene from the Comic Opera "The Seafarer" (1923)
The Guggenheim Website. (http://www.guggenheimcollection.org)
WebMuseum: Klee, Paul. (http://www.oir.ucf.edu/wm/paint/auth/klee/)
Paul Klee. (http://www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee.html)