Paul Klee

Paul Klee has been described as “one of the most important artists of the early twentieth century” with a wide and varied career. Not afraid of exploring just about anything, Klee’s work is a vibrant visual delight sure to capture your imagination.

I (sadly) hadn’t even heard of Klee when I decided to go to the exhibition. I was given Tate Gallery membership for Christmas and intend to use it as fully as possible. The “Paul Klee Making Visible” was the first of many exhibitions I plan to go to. The membership is a wonderful thing, because it frees me up to attend anything, instead of thinking about what I want to see and remaining inside my usual arty world.

The exhibit itself was a vibrant delight as I’ve said. His more recognisable collections of block colour are a stark contrast to the detailed drawings, or the weird oil on cardboard pieces. The guide booklet makes mention of his failures and I’m glad of it. Failure is important to really great art, and it was wonderful to see the changes in his work as you moved through the exhibit.

They're Biting 1920 by Paul Klee 1879-1940

They’re Biting 1920 by Paul Klee 1879-1940

My favourite piece was “They’re Biting” and it immediately grabbed my attention above all else. For something created almost 100 years ago, it just feels so modern. The exclamation point! Maybe it’s my reluctance to delve into modern art too far, but I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I loved the simplicity of it as well, and the comedy of the fish.

Fish Magic by Paul Klee 1879-1940

Fish Magic by Paul Klee 1879-1940

Klee seemed to really like fish. Another postcard I picked up was “Fish Magic”, which is just a stunning collection of fish with random objects and a dude with red hands. Such beautiful contrast with the colours, it does feel like an odd dream.

Assyrian Game by Paul Klee 1879-1940

Assyrian Game by Paul Klee 1879-1940

Finally, there was a piece which was described as “Klee’s weirdest piece”. I think given the weirdness of his work that that is quite a hard title to earn. Assyrian Game is a collection of shapes and textures and reminds me of a giant doodle. I love it although I have no idea what it’s trying to say.

The exhibition itself had a vast quantity of work to view, and for anyone interested in colour in particular, it is well worth seeing. I was very impressed, and happy to add postcards of Klee’s work to my ever growing collection of beautiful art.

I ended up doing a couple of things myself afterwards, including painting the Tate bag and colouring a backdrop like “They’re Biting”. I have no idea what’s going on in my collection of things either. I was rather tired!

Klee inspired Tate bag

Klee inspired Tate bag

Klee inspired "things"

Klee inspired “things”