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Last updated: 6/23/2019
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / German Expressionism / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879-1940): Original Lithographs (and 2 serigraphs after Klee)

German Expressionism: People / Lovers / Social Interaction

"Käthe Kollwitz and German Expressionism" featured over fifty works by Käthe Kollwitz plus additional works by Josef Albers,
Ernst Barlach, Rudolf Bauer, Max Beckmann, Peter Behrens, Heinrich Campendonck, Marc Chagall, Lovis Corinth,
Otto Dix, Lyonel Feininger, Conrad Felixmuller, Hans Fronius, Alfons Graber, Otto Greiner, Georg Grosz, Erich Heckel,
Hannah Hoch, Karl Hofer,Wassily Kandinsky, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ludwig Meidner,
Edvard Munch, Gabrielle Munter, Heinrich Nauen, Emile Nolde, Max Pechstein, Hilla von Rebay, Georges Rouault,
Rudolf Schlichter, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Siegfried Schott, Georg Tappert, Wilhelm Wagner, and others.

German Expressionist Drawings

The Russians: Chagall, Sonia Delaunay, Goncharova, Larionov, and Malevich
Paul Klee is one of the most popular and influential artists of the twentieth century. The son of musicians, himself a violinist, he married a German pianist, and like his former teacher Wasily Kandinsky, he was interested in an art that would transcend the purely visual to create equivalents of sounds, movements, structures, and harmonies. Klee a friend of Franz Marc and August Macke, took part in the second Blaue Reiter Exhibition before being drafted into the German Army during the first world war. Unlike Marc and Macke, who died in combat, Klee was assigned to paint airplanes and survived physically unharmed. In 1920, he had a large retrospective of his work and this led to an invitation to teach at the Bauhaus in 1922. In 1931 he resigned from the Bauhaus to escape the constant quarrels among the faculty and taught at the Academy in Dusseldorf until the Nazis took power and dismisssed him. Klee returned to Switzerland where he remained until the end of his life in 1940. His works were included in the Nazi's "Degenerate Art" Exhibition of 1937; since then, they have been exhibited in almost every major museum in the U.S. and Europe.

Selected Bibliography: Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Paul Klee (NY: Museum of Modern Art, [1946]); David A. Burnett, Tribute to Paul Klee 1879-1940 (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 1979); Will Grohmann, Paul Klee (NY: Harry Abrams, nd: the first catalogue raisonne of the paintings); Betsy G. Fryberger, In Celebration of Paul Klee 1879-1940 Fifty Prints (Stanford: Stanford University Museum of Art, 1979); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Paul Klee, 1879-1940: A Retrospective Exhibition (NY: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1967; introductory essays by Harry F. Guggenheim and Thomas M. Messer; preface by Felix Klee; introduction by Will Grohmann); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Paul Klee: 1879-1940: In the Collection of The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (NY: The Museum, 1977);   Lisa Dennison, Pauk Klee at the Guggenheim Museum (NY: The Guggenheim Museum, 1993); Werner Haftmann, The Mind and Work of Paul Klee (NY: Frederick A. Praeger, 1967); Paul Klee, Pedagogical Sketchbook (NY: Frederick A. Praeger, Publishers, 1953);  Carolyn Lanchner, Paul Klee (NY: Museum of Modern Art, 1987); Margaret Plant, Paul Klee Figures and Faces (London: Thames and Hudson, 1978); Sabine Rewald, Paul Klee, the Berggruen Klee Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998); Mark Roskill, Klee, Kandinsky, and the Thought of Their Time: A Critical Perspective (Urbana: Univ of Illinois Press, 1992); Georg Schmidt, Paul Klee, 1879-1940 (Basel: Kunstmuseum, 1950); Stedelijk Museum, Paul Klee (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1948); Tate Gallery, Paul Klee 1879-1940 at the National Gallery (London: Tate Gallery, 1945); Marianne L. Teuber, Paul Klee. Paintings and Watercolors from the Bauhaus Years 1921-1931 (Des Moines Art Center, 1973); O. K. Werckmeister, The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914-1920 (Chicago: Univ of Chicago Press, 1989).
Auslöschendes Licht / Extinguished Light (Kornfeld 75b; Davis-Rifkind 1492). Original lithograph, 1919. Edition: second state of two, signed "Klee" in the stone lower right; titled and dated in the stone lower left, with the printed text verso giving title, artist, and identifying it as an "originallithographie." Published in Das Kestner Buch (Hannover, 1919). A heart-faced figure throws an extinguished torch in the air while preparing to leap up or in the process of falling down. The gender ambiguity combines with the uncertain action to suggest the trials of the heart. Image size: 160x130mm. Price: $4250.
Riesenblattlaus / Giant Aphid (Kornfeld 77 IIB, Davis-Rifkin 1498). Original lithograph, 1920. Edition: 600 unsigned impressions published in Deutsche Graphiker der Gegenwart (Leipzig, 1920), with the printed text verso giving title, artist, and identifying it as an "originallithographie." Image size: 139x60mm. Price: $3750.
Sommeil d'hiver / Winter's Sleep. Original lithograph, 1938. Edition: as published in the deluxe art review Verve in 1938. Signed in the stone. On the reverse there is a black & white lithograph by Joan Miro which incorporates Klee's name and the title of the work. Winter sleeps, the ground and her body blue with cold, the trees bare of leaves, but in her pregnant body warmth and life are beginning to stir: there will come another spring! Image size: 349x250mm. Price: $2500.
Joan Miró, Sommeil d'hiver / Winter's Sleep (verso). Original lithograph, 1938. Edition: as published in the deluxe art review Verve in 1938. This lithograph was executed at Mourlot Frères in Paris. Image size: 321x231mm. By late 1938, Klee had no intention of traveling to France and risking being caught up in the war that was inevitably coming. Miró, who had contributed L'été / Summer to this special number of "Verve" (Chagall contributed Le Printemps / Spring and Abraham Rattner completed the seasonal round with L'Automme / Autumn). The format for all four lithographs was the same: a color lithograph for the recto and a black-and-white litho giving the title of the work and a design for the verso of each season. Miró here unmistakably became Klee long enough to finish the series. One neeed only compare the lithograph on the verso of L'été to affirm Miró's authorship. Price: free with purchase of Sommeil d'hiver / Winter's Dream illustrated above.
Tête d'un enfant / Head of a Young Girl. Original lithograph, 1939. Edition: as published in the deluxe art review Verve in 1939. This lithograph was executed at Mourlot Frères in Paris with Klee's consent and participation. Image size: 321x231mm. Price: $775.
Figure of the Oriental Stage. Color serigraph after a gouache, c. 1940. Edition: As published in Karl Nierendorf's "Paul Klee" (1941), a volume issued as a memorial to Klee the year after his death. For Nierendorf, Klee's work emerges from the struggle between the "Creative Imperative," the ideas that came flooding to him, and the search for form, "which often develops of its own free will and strives to dominate." Image size: 235x177mm. Price: $1250.
Fulfillment. Color serigraph after a gouache, c. 1940. Edition: As published in Karl Nierendorf's "Paul Klee" (1941), a volume issued as a memorial to Klee the year after his death. Nierendorf suggests that "the idea that the heart is the true creative center, an inexhaustible reservoir of productive impulses, appealed to him," as we can see here and in Sommeil d'hiver above. Signed "Klee" in the plate below the teapot on the platter; dated "1920" in the lower left corner. Image size: 201x152mm. Price: $850.

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