Paul Klee  (Swiss, 1879-1940) 

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Swiss-born artist Paul Klee (German/Swiss, 1879–1940) is renowned for his unique absorption of European Modernist movements, incorporating techniques from Cubism, Surrealism, and German Expressionism into his paintings and works on paper. Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee and grew up in a family of musicians, excelling in both music and the visual arts in his youth. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under the artist Franz von Stuck (German, 1863–1928). In 1911, Klee met Wassily Kandinsky (Russian, 1866-1944), Franz Marc (German, 1880–1916), and other Expressionist artists, and exhibited his work alongside the group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in 1913. During the same period, he was exposed to French Cubism and, during a significant trip to Tunisia in 1914, was enthralled by the light and color of the landscape, inspiring a lifelong passion for exploring color theory in his work.

Klee began painting lively Abstract pieces following this trip, using blocks of color as the foundation for his landscapes, urban streets, and figurative scenes. He also experimented with texture and alternative materials, frequently painting on burlap and other rough surfaces. Klee’s subject matter ranges from satirical, whimsical, and childlike imagery, to the surreal and fantastic, to somber meditations on death and war. In 1919, he began teaching at the Bauhaus, the groundbreaking German school uniting fine arts, craft, and design, and exhibited at the Bauhaus and in Paris throughout the 1920s.

In 1923, Klee and Kandinsky joined artists Lyonel Feininger (American/German, 1871–1956) and Alexej Jawlensky (Russian, 1864–1941) to create Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four), which traveled to the United Stated in 1925. Klee continued to teach until the Bauhaus was closed by the Nazi regime in 1933, and he was forced to emigrate from Germany to Switzerland with his family. The same year he fell ill with the muscular disease scleroderma, and he spent the last several years of his life painting works with sobering themes, reflecting the increased presence of violent, totalitarian regimes in Germany and Klee’s own declining health. He continued to paint, using broad, thick brushstrokes because of his physical condition, and died in 1940. Klee produced more than 9,000 works during his lifetime, and is celebrated as one of the most unique and innovative of the early 20th century Modernists.

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Artworks for sale (16)

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Paul Klee, Was läuft er?

 

Paul Klee
Was läuft er?
1932

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Stockholms Auktionsverk
View Details | entire auction
Paul Klee, A bunch of flowers in front of a window ; Selfportrait (on the back)

 

Paul Klee
A bunch of flowers in front of a window ; Selfportrait (on the back)
1908

Le Polyptyque
Paul Klee, Esel

 

Paul Klee
Esel
1925

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Paul Klee, Mädchenakt

 

Paul Klee
Mädchenakt
1931

Moeller Fine Art
Paul Klee, Vulgäre Komödie

 

Paul Klee
Vulgäre Komödie
1922

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel
Paul Klee, Verladung der Früchte / Loading the Fruit

 

Paul Klee
Verladung der Früchte / Loading the Fruit
1940

Galerie Orlando
Paul Klee, Bergschlucht / Canyon

 

Paul Klee
Bergschlucht / Canyon
1934

Galerie Orlando
Paul Klee, Relief im Zeichen des rechten Winkels / Relief under the Sign of the Right Angle

 

Paul Klee
Relief im Zeichen des rechten Winkels / Relief under the Sign of the Right Angle
1930

Galerie Orlando
Paul Klee, …gilt auch für Pflanzen

 

Paul Klee
…gilt auch für Pflanzen
1932

Galerie Haas AG Zürich
Past auction results (2580)  View All
Paul Klee, Kopf (Bärtiger Mann)

 

Paul Klee
Kopf (Bärtiger Mann), 1925
lithograph

 

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Paul Klee, 'The Look of Leather' rug

 

Paul Klee
'The Look of Leather' rug
wool

 

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Paul Klee, Die Sängerin der komischen Oper

 

Paul Klee
Die Sängerin der komischen Oper, 1925
lithograph w/sprayed watercolor

 

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1879   Born: December 18, Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland
1898 - 1901   Studied in Munich with Heinrich Knirr, then at the Kunstakademie under Franz von Stuck
1911   Met Alexej Jawlensky, Vasily Kandinsky, August Macke, Franz Marc, and other avant-garde figures
1914   Helped found the Neue Münchner Secession
1920   Appointed to the faculty of the Bauhaus
1924   The Blaue Vier, consisting of Lyonel Feininger, Jawlensky, Kandinsky, and Klee, was founded
1921 - 1926   Taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany
1926 - 1931   Taught at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany
1931   Taught at the Akademie, Düsseldorf, Germany
1933   Forced by the Nazis to leave his position in Düsseldorf
1940   Died: June 29, Muralto-Locarno, Switzerland
2008   Paperweight, Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin
2007   Klang im Bild, Opelvillen, Russelsheim
2006   Picasso to Pop: Aspects of Modern Art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
2005   Group Show, Galleria Torbandena, Trieste
2004   Der Blaue Reiter, Geschichte und Ideen, Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, Munich
2003   Masterworks from El Greco to Picasso in the Phillips Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
2002   "Nur Fabre" Galerie Thomas, Munich
2001   Works on Paper, Victoria Miro Gallery, London (England)
2000   Mensura, Galeria Emma Molina, Garza Garcia, NL
1999   Masterprints, Galerie nachst St. Stephan - Rosemaire Schwarzwalden, Vienna
1979   Paul Klee: Das Werk der Jahre 1919-1933, Gemalde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik, Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany
1974   Homage à Schönberg, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
1973   Paul Klee: The Bauhaus Years, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, IA (solo)
1967   Paul Klee: A Retrospective, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (solo)
1967   Paul Klee, Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
1963   Paul Klee in Review, The Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado
1956 - 1957   Paul Klee, Hamburger Kunstverein, Germany (solo)
1956   Paul Klee, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland (solo)
1940   Klee exhibition, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
1937   Entartete Kunst, Dessau, Germany
1935   Klee exhibitions, Bern and Basel, Switzerland (solo)
1930   Museum of Modern Art, New York
1925   Galerie Vavin-Raspail, Paris, France; Galerie Pierre, Paris, France
1924   Société Anonyme, New York
1920   Paul Klee: Retrospective, Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, Germany
1913   Erste deutsche Herbstsalon, Der Sturm Gallery, Berlin, Germany
1912   Second Blaue Reiter exhibition, Galerie Hans Goltz, Munich, Germany
1911   Moderne Galerie, Munich, Germany
1910   Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland; Kunsthaus, Zurich (solo)
1906   Munich Secession, Germany