Friday, December 3, 2010

Paul Klee – Farbe, Form & Linie

Zentrum Paul Klee - In Bern, Switzerland

The exhibit Paul Klee – Farbe, Form & Linie (11.9.2010 – 16.1.2011) was an exhibit we saw at the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Paul Klee (1879 – 1940) was a German-Swiss painter who produced works in the early twentieth century that crossed several styles including expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. The exhibit’s goal was to “examine the way in which the oeuvre of Paul Klee addresses the elements of picture composition and design. One of its focal points is the interplay and tension that exist between the main elements of pictorial representation, i.e. line, form and color.” It’s hard to appreciate that tension, especially on the first exposure to Klee’s work beyond what you might pick up from popular culture. Klee’s shapes and colors seem simple and innocent and it is easy to dismiss them as something you’ve seen a thousand times before. Yes, you probably have, just imitations and homages and distillations. You have to remind yourself of the time he lived and worked. Not until after the exhibit, in further research, did we appreciate Klee’s struggle to master color (fabre) theory.

The building that houses Klee’s collection (about 40% of Klee’s pictorial work) is the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern (outside city center), Switzerland. The iconic, undulating building designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano is a work of art itself. We got to see it under a blanket of snow and it was a welcoming relief to enter and shed our jackets and the cold. There are some great interior views of the building at the architectural-oriented site, Here’s the entrance of the Zentrum.

Exhibit Brochure
Paul Klee - Farbe, Form and Linie Brochure
Paul Klee - Farbe, Form and Linie Brochure

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