Paul Klee Biography | Oil Paintings
12-18-1879 Bern, SUI - 6-29-1940 Muralto, SUIBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Paul Klee is the most surprising case of precociousness in the field of painting, the drawings and watercolors he made as a child already reveal his powerful and original style. After studying art in Bern and Munich, and worked there as an etcher. Klee spent most of the first decade of the twentieth century traveling to see the paintings of the old masters and learning more about the artistic currents of the time.
In 1911 Paul Klee joined with Feininger, Kandinsky, and Jawlensky in Der Blaue Reiter (the blue rider) group founded by August Macke; up to that time, he had worked in watercolors, painting in an expressionist manner with overtones of Blake and Beardsley.
He traveled with August Macke and Louis Moilliet to Tunisia in 1914, which provided him with new experiences of light and color. His stay in North Africa was a chance to discover light, which he immediately captured and reproduced in subtle paintings. A patient, invaluable study of the gradation of tones of light, that was a cross between poetic intuition and scientific method, characterized Klee's middle period. He veered towards Cubism under the influence of Robert Delaunay and from 1919 onward painted on oils. Immediately after the war, Klee began his own personal study of the order and rationalization of the image. Here with Colored Composition With Black Graphic Elements, we are still in a chaotic phase in which the painter introduces diverse elements, including letters and irregular outlines, into his compositions in an attempt to test their impact on a style that is still being formulated.
Klee "Color and I are One and the Same, I am a Painter!"
In 1920, he joined the Bauhaus, and in 1924, he co-founded the Blue Four with Kandinsky, Jawlensky, and Feininger. His paintings from the 1920's are small, delicate idylls, whose colors are applied in smooth geometric patterns, while their graphic features vaguely evoke real objects and figures. Separation In The Evening is emblematic of Klee's art. The two arrows introduced into the regular, applied, overlapping bands of color communicate an emotion and convey the sense of subdued evening light. The ensuing period mingled the figural with the abstract as he explored subtle combinations of colors and shapes, often deriving elements from folk art and even children's drawings. This work Light and Other Things is a classic example of Klee's patient analysis of every element of the composition, following a secret path of lines, points, lights, and colors. Although it may appear to be a kind of mathematical exercise, upon closer observation, the sweetness, lyricism, and hidden beauty of Klee's world is revealed.
He severed his connections with the Bauhaus and returned to Switzerland when the Nazis came to power in 1933 and condemned his works as degenerate art. In Germany in 1937, seventeen of Paul Klee's paintings were included in an exhibition of "Degenerate Art" and 102 of his works in public collections were seized by the Nazis.
The last years of his life were plagued with serious illness, a suffering that is clear in the heavy, dark lines of his last, bitter canvases.
Klee has been associated with Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Abstraction, but his paintings are difficult to classify. He generally worked in isolation from his peers and interpreted new art trends in his own way. He was inventive in his methods and technique. Paul Klee painting Tänzerin (Dancer) 1932, was sold at auction in 2011 for US$7,000,000.
Art Movement History: Expressionism, Cubism.
Artists Influencing Paul Klee: August Macke, Robert Delaunay.
He Traveled To Germany, Italy, Tunisia, Egypt, France.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.