who is paul klee
Klee’s work evolved during World War I, particularly following the deaths of his friends Auguste Macke and Franz Marc. Klee created several pen-and-ink lithographs, including Death for the Idea, in reaction to this loss. In 1916, he joined the German army, painting camouflage on airplanes and working as a clerk.
In 1906, Klee married Bavarian pianist Lily Stumpf. The couple had a son, Felix Paul. Klee’s artwork progressed slowly for the next five years. In 1910, he had his first solo exhibition in Bern, which subsequently traveled to three Swiss cities.
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Gropius appointed Josef Albers as a young master before he had even qualified as a journeyman. He was in charge of the preliminary course, where he formulated a pioneering approach to art education.
The association opened his mind to modern theories of color. His travels to Paris in 1912 also exposed him to the ferment of Cubism and the pioneering examples of “pure painting”, an early term for abstract art. The use of bold color by Robert Delaunayand Maurice de Vlaminck also inspired him. Rather than copy these artists, Klee began working out his own color experiments in pale watercolors and did some primitive landscapes, including In the Quarry (1913) and Houses near the Gravel Pit(1913), using blocks of color with limited overlap. Klee acknowledged that “a long struggle lies in store for me in this field of color” in order to reach his “distant noble aim.” Soon, he discovered “the style which connects drawing and the realm of color.”
Klee was also a member of Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four), with Kandinsky, Feininger, and Jawlensky; formed in 1923, they lectured and exhibited together in the USA in 1925. That same year, Klee had his first exhibits in Paris, and he became a hit with the French Surrealists. Klee visited Egypt in 1928, which impressed him less than Tunisia. In 1929, the first major monograph on Klee’s work was published, written by Will Grohmann.
Klee’s mother, née Ida Maria Frick of Basel, and his German-born father, Hans Klee, were both trained as musicians. By Swiss law, Paul Klee held his father’s nationality; late in life he applied for Swiss citizenship but died just days before it was granted. A gifted violinist, he briefly considered music as a career, and between 1903 and 1906 he played occasionally in the Bern symphony orchestra. Klee was educated in the classical Literarschule (a literary secondary school) in Bern. As a youth, he wrote poetry and even tried his hand at writing plays. The diaries he kept from 1897 to 1918 are valuable documents rich with detailed accounts of his experiences and his observations on art and literature.
As a boy, Klee did delicate landscape drawings, in which he and his parents saw the promise of a career, and he filled his school notebooks with comic sketches. Upon graduating from the Literarschule in 1898 he left for Munich, which was then the artistic capital of Germany, and enrolled in the private art school of Heinrich Knirr. In 1899 he was admitted to the Munich Academy, which was then under the direction of Franz von Stuck, the foremost painter of Munich. Stuck was a rather strict academic painter of allegorical pictures, but his emphasis on imagination proved invaluable to the young Klee.
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, as the second child of German music teacher Hans Wilhelm Klee (1849–1940) and Swiss singer Ida Marie Klee, née Frick (1855–1921). His sister Mathilde (died 6 December 1953) was born on 28 January 1876 in Walzenhausen. Their father came from Tann and studied at the Stuttgart Conservatory singing, piano, organ and violin, meeting there his future wife Ida Frick. Hans Wilhelm Klee was active as a music teacher at the Bern State Seminary in Hofwil near Bern until 1931. Klee was able to develop his music skills as his parents encouraged and inspired him until his death. In 1880, his family moved to Bern, where they eventually, in 1897, after a number of changes of residence, moved into their own house in the Kirchenfeld district (de). From 1886 to 1890, Klee visited primary school and received, at the age of 7, violin classes at the Municipal Music School. He was so talented on violin that, aged 11, he received an invitation to play as an extraordinary member of the Bern Music Association.
Paul Klee’s was a Swiss born painter, with a unique style that was influenced by expressionism, cubism, surrealism, and orientalism. His written collections of lectures, Writings on Form and Design Theory are considered as important to modern art as Leonardo da Vinci’s written works were to the Renaissance. As a child, Klee was mainly oriented as a musician, having played the violin since he was eight, but in his teen years, he found that art allowed him freedom to explore his style and express his radical ideas. Although Klee is now considered a master of color theory, he spent a long time in his search for his sense of color. At first, Klee drew in black and white, saying he would never be a painter. But as an adult, after a visit to Tunisia, in which he was impressed by the quality of light, he had found his sense of color and began experimenting with his newfound decision to be a painter.