Paul Klee is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. His reputation was evident during the period between the wars with paintings and drawings that emerged from a creative process to lead to great complexity. The Tate Modern offers an exhibition from October 16 to March 9 under the name ‘The EY-Paul Klee Exhibition: Making Visible’ in which takes a chronological journey through his painting career. Through it, we can admire some of his earliest works from his time in Munich, as well as some paintings related to his time as a professor at the Bauhaus and his last years in Bern.
The exhibition is divided into 17 rooms. The first spaces correspond to the years in which Paul Klee began to get involved with the group of artists associated with the modernist publication ‘Der Blaue Reiter’, including Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and August Macke. Works as’ Plants in the Mountain ‘(1913) give us a sense of the artist’s engagement with the color.
The advent of World War I supposed the separation of the group. Pieces like ‘Transluciencies orange-blue’ (1915) or ‘Family space’ (1915) were made under the threat of mobilization. Still, Klee is able to show his ability to use pure color drawings to abstract paintings of great sensitivity.
The technical experiments are an important feature of the work of Klee. In 1919 he developed the ‘Oil-transformer’ method, essentially a home tracing system, which allowed him to reproduce the movements of inspiration reflected in his drawings with little loss of effect. ‘Aerial Combat’ (1920) is a test of this new system creation.
One of the most important stages in the life of Paul Klee was his role as a teacher at the Bauhaus in Weimar, one of the most innovative art schools of the time. The exhibition features some of the most important works of this period such as ‘Room perspective with inhabitants’ (1921) or ‘Fishes in the Deep’ (1921).
The Tate Modern also highlights the influence of Constructivist László Moholy-Nagy and his encouragement to carry out new experiments. ‘Architecture’ (1923) reveals new harmonies and complex relationships in response to the rigorous geometric constructivism.
Finally, the exhibition focuses on the last years of artist. Despite his illness, his artistic activity did not decrease and was producing more than twenty plays in one year. The play ‘Faust’ by Goethe especially influenced him. So ‘Forest witches’ (1938) evokes the feeling of own infernal threat of those times.
It is one of the most complete sample of Paul Klee (over 130 paintings and drawings) that traces the path of some artists undoubtedly most important twentieth century.