Paul Klee  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Paul Klee (December 18, 1879 to June 29, 1940) was a Swiss painter of German nationality. He was influenced by many different art styles in his work, including expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He and his friend, the Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, were also famous for teaching at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture. One of Klee's paintings, Angelus Novus, was the object of a chapter in Theses on the Philosophy of History, an interpretive text by German philosopher Walter Benjamin, who purchased the painting in 1921.

Legacy

As Klee learned to manipulate color with great skill and passion, he became an effective teacher of color mixing and color theory to students at the Bauhaus. This progression in itself is of great interest because his views on color would ultimately allow him to write about it from a unique viewpoint among his contemporaries.

Klee influenced the work of other noted artists of the early 20th century including Belgian printmaker Rene Carcan.

Composer Gunther Schuller immortalized seven works of Klee's in his Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee. The studies are based on a range of works, including Alter Klang [Antique Harmonies], Abstraktes Terzett [Abstract Trio], Little Blue Devil, Twittering Machine, Arab Village, Ein unheimlicher Moment [An Eerie Moment], and Pastorale. The German Ensemble Sortisatio together with the Swiss Groupe Lacroix worked on the project "8 Pieces on Paul Klee", based on the work of the painter. Another Klee-inspired work is Wingate's Second Symphony, subtitled Kleetüden; Variationen für Orchester nach Paul Klee (Variations for Orchestra after Paul Klee) which consists of 27 tone paintings in homage to Klee. The Spanish composer Benet Casablancas's symphonic work Alter Klang. Impromptu for orchestra after Klee, based on Klee's painting of the same title, was commissioned by Orquesta Nacional de España, which prémièred it in 2007 under the baton of Josep Pons. This is not the only piece by Casablancas that is inspired by Klee; in 2007 he composed a chamber cantata Retablo sobre textos de Paul Klee, for soprano, mezzosoprano and piano, commissioned by Fundación Canal in Madrid. Well into 2011, more than 800 pieces of music, in virtually all genres, are known to have been inspired by Klee's artwork, and sometimes by his words. This is far more music than has been inspired by any other artist.{citation needed}

In the late sixties, the psychedelic nature of Klee's pieces was revived musically by a group (including jazz composer Chuck Mangione), The National Gallery released the album Performing Musical Interpretations of the Paintings of Paul Klee in 1968, with music and lyrics that are appropriately surprising, strange, and delightful.

Today, a painting by Klee can sell for as much as $7.5 million.

A museum dedicated to Klee was built in Bern, Switzerland, by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. Zentrum Paul Klee opened in June 2005 and houses a collection of about 4,000 works by Paul Klee. Another substantial collection of Klee's works is owned by chemist and playwright Carl Djerassi and displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

The 2005 bottling of Kenwood Vineyards "Artist Series" Cabernet Sauvignon reproduces Klee's "Highway and Byways" (1929) on the label.

See also





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Paul Klee" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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