Who was Paul Klee?
Paul Klee was born in the son of a music teacher. He was encouraged to pursue a career as a violinist but instead traveled the road to becoming a great artist.
As he began to explore the various mediums and artistic styles, he never strayed far from his musical roots because often his paintings were musically inspired. Throughout his lifetime, he produced over 8,000 pieces of art and had come to be known as an extraordinary abstract artist.
Abstract art is a departure from a subject’s normal appearance in order to emphasize certain qualities. Klee often incorporated numerals and letters into his work, once he wrote regarding his paintings, “art does not reproduce the visible, it makes visible.” Because of this deep-rooted passion, he constantly invented medians and techniques to incorporate into his work that was out of the ordinary.
Klee’s early works were of a satirical and grotesque nature even surreal. One of his well-known etchings from that period is called ‘Two Men Meet,” this picture shows two men meeting each other, yet both believed the other to be of a higher station in life than he. This one concept alone helps us to understand the humility that Klee possessed within himself.
In 1914, Klee’s vision changed after visiting (the northern most country of
) with artist friend August Macke. There he was so overwhelmed by the intenseness of lighting, it prompted him to write, “Color has taken possession of me no longer do I have to chase after it.” It was this turning point in his life that he declared himself a painter. A result of his journey can be seen in the color painting of ‘The watercolor red and white domes’. In this painting, he used a composition of colored squares to represent the various mosaics he had seen throughout his trip.
Paul Klee’s works throughout the years have been very hard to place into a classification. Their childlike quality alludes to music, poetry and dream states even to the point of his including words and musical notations. His paintings have often been the subject of interpretation by philosophers. One such interpretation was by German philosopher Walter Benjamin, the angel seen in the painting ‘Angelus Novus’ in his interpretation depicted progress in history.
In 1935, Klee once again returned to , where he started experience symptoms of what is now known as scleroderma (a rare chronic disease caused by excessive deposits of collagen). Klee’s work from this point on showed the progression of his illness. Some even referred to his works as being the work of a sick mind.
Paul Klee died in 1940 at the age of 60 leaving behind a large collection of pieces of shear uniqueness.