Wednesday, September 18, 2019

The Paul Klee Way

Student painting of moon sitting atop of Klee-style sky-line
wonky towers of color
Paul Klee was a Swiss-German artist, who created 10,000 paintings, drawings, and etchings during his life. He was a member of the Blue Rider group of artists then became a Bauhaus teacher and his notes on color are still relevant. Klee fled Germany for Switzerland when Nazi pressure in the 1930's caused the Bauhaus to close. Germany had been a world hot spot for Modern Art, until Hitler, who hated it, caused thousands of of innovative paintings and drawings to be burned. Other pieces (including those by Paul Klee) were labeled and exhibited as "degenerate art." 

shaded colors frame tinted colors
Klee began life as a musician. As a child, he was able to play the violin at symphony level. His love for color caused him to become a painter, but I can see musicality in his visual art. The tones and rhythm, give a pleasurable experience to the viewer.  My respect for Klee grew when one of my favorite art professors showed us a Klee watercolor and called it "perfect," making the impossible, possible in my mind. His transfer drawings inspired much of my graduate school artwork, and it turns out, I wasn't the only one in my family with an appreciation for the artist. My sister gave her first son "Klee" as a middle name.

Bold lines created by student with visual impairment
My students were given the task of choosing one of several styles that Klee used. He made some paintings just of boxes of color. Others, were geometric shapes to create buildings and cities. He used subtle color shifts and bold lines for later work. And he did some figurative work with large, stylized features.  Some students had enough time to try out a couple styles and all the students seemed to enjoy channeling his ideas. Paul Klee may have died in 1940, but his art lives on!

The windows and doors in this building remind me of a pallet of make up or paint. The fact that the roof looks more like a spire is part of the charm.

No comments:

Post a Comment