Paul Klee—one of the preeminent artists of the twentieth century—was associated with all of the major movements of the first half of the century: expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and abstraction. In this economic and political history, O. K. Werckmeister traces Klee's career as a professional artist, concentrating on the years 1914-20 in which Klee rose from obscurity to recognition in the visual culture of the incipient Weimar Republic. Werckmeister reveals the degree to which Klee, who has been traditionally portrayed as aloof from politics and the vicissitudes of the art market, was subject to and interacted with material conditions. Drawing on rich documentary evidence—records of Klee's sales, reviews of his exhibitions, the artist's published writings about his art, unpublished correspondence, as well as contemporary criticism—Werckmeister follows Klee's transformation from an idiosyncratic abstract individualist to a metaphysical storyteller to mystical sage. Werckmeister argues that this latter image was promoted by a number of influential art critics and dealers acting in cooperation with the artist himself. This posture prompted Klee's success first in the war-weary modernist art world of 1916-18 and then in the pseudo-revolutionary art world of 1919-20. This work is a critical challenge to the myth of Klee's art and to the hagiography of his artistic personality. Werckmeister's historical account is sure to be a controversial yet significant contribution to Klee studies—one that will change the nature of Klee scholarship for some time to come.
"The German painter Paul Klee (1879-1940) has become one of today's most popular artists. Ninety works by Klee--including drawings, watercolors, and oils, either serious, comical, capricious, or dramatic--have recently been given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by one of the postwar era's leading art dealers and collectors, Heinz Berggruen, and are now published together in this volume for the first time. The works in the distinguished Berggruen Klee Collection, now a permanent part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's holdings, span the career of the artist from his student days in Bern in the 1890s to his death in Muralto-Locarno in 1940. All aspects of Klee both as a draftsman and as a painter are illustrated in these ninety works. Paul Klee is not only one of today's most popular artists, but he is also one of the most written about. In an illuminating addition to the vast literature on Klee, Sabine Rewald opens this study with a candid interview with the artist's only son, Felix, which took place in Bern in February 1986. Accompanied by documentary and informal photographs of the Klee family, it gives pointed and witty insights into the artist's private life. It also offers a behind-the-scenes view of the Bauhaus, where Paul Klee taught and where Felix Klee was a student. Most of the ninety works in the Berggruen Klee Collection are reproduced in full-page colorplates, and each one is accompanied by an extensive entry. These entries incorporate biographical information and quotations from Klee's letters, the latter as yet unpublished in English. The book includes an extensive chronology and a bibliography." -- Provided by publisher
The fact that Paul Klee (1879–1940) consistently intertwined the visual and the verbal in his art has long fascinated commentators from Walter Benjamin to Michel Foucault. However, the questions it prompts have never been satisfactorily answered—until now. In Paul Klee, Annie Bourneuf offers the first full account of the interplay between the visible and the legible in Klee’s works from the 1910s and 1920s. Bourneuf argues that Klee joined these elements to invite a manner of viewing that would unfold in time, a process analogous to reading. From his elaborate titles to the small scale he favored to his metaphoric play with materials, Klee created forms that hover between the pictorial and the written. Through his unique approach, he subverted forms of modernist painting that were generally seen to threaten slow, contemplative viewing. Tracing the fraught relations among seeing, reading, and imagining in the early twentieth century, Bourneuf shows how Klee reconceptualized abstraction at a key moment in its development.
The year before he died, in what was one of the most difficult yet prolific periods of his life, Paul Klee created some of his most surprising and innovative works. In 1939, the year before his death from a long illness and against a backdrop of sociopolitical turmoil and the outbreak of World War II, Klee worked with a vigor and inventiveness that rivaled even the most productive periods of his youth. This book illuminates the artist’s response to his personal difficulties and the era’s broader realities through imagery that is tirelessly inventive—by turns political, solemn, playful, humorous, and poetic. The works featured testify to Klee’s restless drive to experiment with form and material. His use of adhesive, grease, oil, chalk, and watercolor, among other media, resulted in surfaces that are not only visually striking, but also highly tactile and original. Not unlike a diary, the drawings are often meditative reflections on the pains and pleasures of life—their titles, among them Monsters in readiness and Struggles with himself, signal Klee’s frame of mind. Renowned art historian Dawn Ades looks at this group of paintings and drawings in the context of their time and as indicative of a pivotal moment in art history. Moved by this late period of Klee’s oeuvre, American artist Richard Tuttle responds to specific works in the form of dialogical poems. This stunning publication highlights the novelty and ingenuity of Klee’s late works, which deeply affected the generation of artists—including Anni Albers, Jean Dubuffet, Mark Tobey, and Zao Wou-Ki—that emerged after World War II and continues to captivate artists and viewers alike today
Creative Confession brings together three short critical texts written by Paul Klee, one of the most distinctive artists of the early twentieth century. Reflective and often lyrical, the essays exemplify Klee s artistic thinking and his relationship with the creative process. Entitled Graphic Art (published as Creative Confession , 1920), Ways of Nature Study (1923) and Exact Experiments in the Realm of Art (1928), the texts arch into each other through a number of common and overlapping concerns: the alliance between what Klee terms his graphic art , nature, and abstraction, and the role of the artist in this triumvirate; the notion of genius, equating creativity with Genesis as well as nature; and the importance of the process as well as the outcome of art. The practical function of these writings was to draw a wider public into a dialogue that Klee was already having with the world around him through his art. Indeed, he said Art does not reproduce what is visible, instead it makes it visible , and it is with this philosophy that he talks us through his own creative confessions. With a postscript by Matthew Gale on the origins and context of the essays, this compact new edition is a must for any Klee fan, as well as those wishing to explore Modern artistic ideas.
Publisher: Karger Medical and Scientific Publishers
In 1933 Paul Klee’s work was branded as ‘Entartete Kunst’ (Degenerate Art) by the National Socialists and he was dismissed from his professorial post at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. This led him, together with his wife Lily, to return to his ‘real home’ of Bern. Here his avant-garde art was not understood and Klee found himself in unasked for isolation. In 1935 Klee started to suffer from a mysterious disease. The symptoms included changes to the skin and problems with the internal organs. In 1940 Paul Klee died, but it was only 10 years after his death that the illness was actually given the name ‘scleroderma’ in a publication about Klee. However, the diagnosis remained mere conjecture. Since his adolescence, the dermatologist and venereologist Dr. Hans Suter has been fascinated by Paul Klee and his art, and more than 30 years ago this fascination spurred him to commence research into the illness and its influence on the art of Paul Klee’s final years. It was due to Dr. Suter’s meticulous investigations that Klee’s illness could be defined as ‘diffuse systemic sclerosis’. In this book the author assembles his findings and describes the rare and complex disease in a clear and comprehensible way. Further, he empathetically interprets more than 90 of Klee’s late works. The point of view of a dermatologist renders a unique source of information. It provides, on one hand, new insights into everyday medical practices at the University of Bern in the 1930s, which will fascinate doctors and local historians alike. While, on the other hand, art historians and art lovers will be absorbed by the newly discovered links between Paul Klee's work and his illness.
Seventy years after its foundation in Weimar, the Bauhaus has become a concept, indeed a catchprase all over the world. The respect which it commands is associated above all with the design it pioneered, one which we know describe as 'Bauhaus style'. This volume traces the history of Bauhaus.
This accessible look at Kleeís life and art displays the many facets that make his career so intriguing. Filled with personal photographs, quotations from the artist, and beautiful reproductions of his colorful paintings, watercolors, and prints, this volume introduces readers to the various themes that occupied Klee throughout his life. The book explores topics such as Munich between two world wars; the artists whom Klee befriended in the Blue Rider Group and at the Bauhaus; the music that continued to inspire him; and the illness that marked his final years. A fascinating introduction for anyone interested in learning about this renowned artist, here is a book that is as readable as it is informative. AUTHOR: Hajo Duchting is an art historian and author of numerous books. ILLUSTRATIONS 120 illustrations
Paul Klee, best known for his mastery of color and semi-abstract patchwork paintings of squares, completed more than 10,000 paintings, drawings, and etchings during his life. His work is difficult to classify but widely admired and highly sought after. Carl Djerassi, scientist, novelist, philanthropist, most famous for inventing the birth control pill, was a great fan of Klee and amassed one of the most important private collections of his work in the world. This catalog reproduces highlights from the collection, now owned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, including full-color images of nearly one hundred rarely published works. These drawings, sketches, gouache and watercolors reflect the whole of Klee's short but prolific career and are among his most beautiful and important works. The text includes background and critical commentary from noted Klee experts. In addition, an interview with Djerassi reveals his artistic endeavors and passion for Klee, a creative genius whose energy, versatility, productivity, and vision speak volumes to the scientist and anyone interested in the inventive power of the imagination.
Clement Greenberg is widely recognized as the most influential and articulate champion of modernism during its American ascendency after World War II, the period largely covered by these highly acclaimed volumes of The Collected Essays and Criticism. Volume 3: Affirmations and Refusals presents Greenberg's writings from the period between 1950 and 1956, while Volume 4: Modernism with a Vengeance gathers essays and criticism of the years 1957 to 1969. The 120 works range from little-known pieces originally appearing Vogue and Harper's Bazaar to such celebrated essays as "The Plight of Our Culture" (1953), "Modernist Painting" (1960), and "Post Painterly Abstraction" (1964). Preserved in their original form, these writings allow readers to witness the development and direction of Greenberg's criticism, from his advocacy of abstract expressionism to his enthusiasm for color-field painting. With the inclusion of critical exchanges between Greenberg and F. R. Leavis, Fairfield Porter, Thomas B. Hess, Herbert Read, Max Kozloff, and Robert Goldwater, these volumes are essential sources in the ongoing debate over modern art. For each volume, John O'Brian has furnished an introduction, a selected bibliography, and a brief summary of events that places the criticism in its artistic and historical context.
Art and Mourning explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning. In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan, a psychoanalyst, art therapist and artist - analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life. Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss. Art and Mourning will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain. Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians.