Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History Ocula Conversation
In Partnership with Artspace Sydney
Taloi Havini: Reclaiming Space and History By Ruth McDougall, Sydney

Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .

Fade out copy.
Read More
Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere Ocula Report Sydney Biennale Connects Here with Everywhere By Soo-Min Shim, Sydney

'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'

Fade out copy.
Read More
Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 Ocula Insight Hell is a Place on Earth: P·P·O·W Looks to History in Context of Covid-19 By Stephanie Bailey, London

In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .

Fade out copy.
Read More
HomePage Artists

(1879 – 1940), Switzerland

Paul Klee Biography

Although Paul Klee is best known for paintings that integrate a range of early 20th-century aesthetics with childlike symbolism and delicate colouring—and for his talents as a Bauhaus theoretician and teacher—he exhibited an aptitude for a wide range of artistic disciplines early on. Born in Switzerland to musician parents, the young artist honed a passion for music as a violinist, occasionally playing in the Bern Symphony Orchestra. His secondary school was devoted to literature, and during his studies there he wrote poetry and dabbled in landscape drawing and cartooning.

Read More

Of all his creative passions, Klee chose to pursue a tertiary education in fine arts. He travelled to Munich at the end of the 19th century for school, ending with an extended visit to Italy, where he became disillusioned with his classical education. Early subsequent works were caricatures; the 'Inventions' (1903—1905) etching series' 'Virgin in the Tree; (1903) turns the idealised female nude on its head by presenting a gnarled figure lying across a gnarled tree. Finding little financial success with these works, the artist began to experiment with the genre of children's drawings—looking at its spontaneity—and travelled to France to study newly emerging, modern French avant-gardism.

At the same time as Klee became part of the avantgarde Der Blaue Reiter—Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc's Munich-based collective—he became influenced by Cubism, and the final piece of the puzzle fell into place with a visit to Tunisia in 1914, in which a methodical approach to colour distinguished the artist from his peers. Abstracted scenes like Introducing the Miracle (1916) show Klee experimenting with a wide chromatic spectrum and the alternative representational perspectives Cubism offered. During World War I, he incorporated symbols of the political landscape in subtle, childlike demon forms, as in the fantastical Demon above the Ships (1916).

From 1921, Klee taught classes at the Bauhaus. In works like Static-Dynamic Gradation (1923), his interest in geometry and pattern during this period come to the fore, with a quilt-like composition of squares taking varying tones. With the rise of Nazism, his content developed a satirically political edge, as in Mask of Fear (1932)—painted on the eve of Adolf Hitler's rise to power—in which two figures hide behind a large moustachioed mask. Although the mask was intended by the artist to be a metaphor for art, it is not hard to simultaneously see the mask as representing the propaganda the Nazi Party used to gain power. Ridiculed as a 'degenerate artist' in Germany (having his home searched by the Gestapo), in 1933 Klee moved back to Switzerland where his health began to decline from the debilitating disease scleroderma, creating a new visual urgency aesthetically indebted to Cubist Pablo Picasso, with bolder strokes, such as the thick black horizontal lines of Heroic Fiddling (1938). The artist died in 1940.

There have been several large surveys of this much loved, influential, extraordinarily innovative, Bauhaus master. They include: Paul Klee 1879-1940: A Retrospective Exhibition at the Guggenheim (1967); The EY Exhibtion: Paul Klee—Making Visible at Tate Modern (2013–2012); and Paul Klee: l'ironie à l'oeuvre at the Centre Pompidou (2016).

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2019

Paul Klee, Regen=und Sturmangriff (Rain and storm attack) (1939) (detail). © Klee Family. Courtesy David Zwirner. Photo: Kerry McFate.

Paul Klee Featured Artworks

View All (55)
Rinden cultur (Bark culture) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeRinden cultur (Bark culture), 1935Coloured paste on paper on cardboard
20 x 13 5/8 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
Clown als Knabe (Clown as a boy) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeClown als Knabe (Clown as a boy), 1940Grease crayon on paper on cardboard
16 x 20 1/4 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
erzwungener Ausweg (Forced way out) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul Kleeerzwungener Ausweg (Forced way out), 1934Red chalk and pencil on paper on cardboard
29 1/4 x 21 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
Spiegel in der Landschaft (Mirror in the landscape) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeSpiegel in der Landschaft (Mirror in the landscape), 1937Charcoal and oil on paper on cardboard
15 7/8 x 21 3/8 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
Schleusen (Locks) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeSchleusen (Locks), 1938Grease crayon on paper on cardboard
21 1/4 x 29 1/2 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
Hart und weich II (Hard and soft II) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeHart und weich II (Hard and soft II), 1937Charcoal on paper
34.5 x 40 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Seiltänzer by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeSeiltänzer, 1923Colour lithograph on handmade paper
43.8 x 27 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Enquire about this work
Eine Blume tritt auf (A Flower Performs) by Paul Klee contemporary artwork
Paul KleeEine Blume tritt auf (A Flower Performs), 1934Gouache and chalk on paper laid down on the artist's mount
23.8 x 30.5 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Enquire about this work

Paul Klee Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (5)
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Klee, Late Klee at David Zwirner, London
Open Now
6 March–18 April 2020 Paul Klee Late Klee David Zwirner, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Klee, Roland Kollnitz, Balance at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Vienna
Closed
19 September–7 November 2019 Paul Klee, Roland Kollnitz Balance Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Vienna
Contemporary art exhibition, Paul Klee, 1939 at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
10 September–26 October 2019 Paul Klee 1939 David Zwirner, 20th Street, New York

Paul Klee Represented By

Paul Klee In Related Press

Revisiting Britain’s Response to the Nazi “Degenerate Art” Show Related Press Revisiting Britain’s Response to the Nazi “Degenerate Art” Show 21 November 2018, Hyperallergic

BERLIN — In January 1933, the Nazis celebrated their first General Election victory with an elaborate parade down the streets of Berlin. After watching them march triumphantly through the Brandenburg Gate, the famous painter and printmaker Max Liebermann was said to have proclaimed, 'I want to throw up.'

Fade out copy.
Read More
Realizing Paul Klee’s Influence on American Abstraction Related Press Realizing Paul Klee’s Influence on American Abstraction 8 January 2018, Hyperallergic

GENEVA — While teaching at the newly-established Bauhaus school in Weimar, the painter Georg Muche frequently heard thumping sounds coming from the studio next to his own. When he asked his neighbor, Paul Klee, about the noise, Klee confessed. 'So, you heard it?' Klee asked. 'I'm terribly sorry. I was painting away, and it was going very...

Fade out copy.
Read More
The Tender Playfulness of Paul Klee Related Press The Tender Playfulness of Paul Klee 27 July 2016, Hyperallergic

PARIS — The key to Paul Klee's wonderfully shaped energy is not ironic detachment, as the title of the Centre Pompidou's current retrospective suggests, but rather the playful and idyllic emotion he transmits through masterly line and dusty color. There is certainly antagonistic intellectual wit in his brand of romantic spirituality, but I...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Sign up to be notified when new artworks and exhibitions by Paul Klee are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
iCal GoogleYahooOutlook