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Paul Klee: making Visible

26 November 2013 Jim Harrison,

After a recent visit to the Paul Klee exhibition at Tate Modern, the artist's story comes to life.

Amidst the noise of everyday realisms, Klee is the escapist’s dream. He is humble and endearing, always allowing the viewer to seek the picture they wish to see. His use of colour is magnetic; it is a language system in itself, a journey of tones and senses which become increasingly confident over time.

This is a wonderful exhibition which paints a portrait of Paul Klee over the years. The series showcases Klee’s appreciation for experiences across time and space as he begins to number each piece of work within the year, one after the other, as chapters in a story.

Klee has always been one of my favourites, though in seeing the pieces I’ve grown to love him more. There is something quite grounding about the entire experience.

As Klee attempts to breathe life into imagination, there is such beauty in the work which forces one to think of how little we escape into the unknown. If we do not ever seek to discover, how will we create the new.

What Klee ultimately tries to demonstrate, is that there is a space between what we see and what we don’t. That our experiences ultimately live between the known and unknown worlds and we can each only communicate our own interpretations of what we see, what we imagine and what we hope to find.

Everything else... is up to the space in between.

“For the artist, dialogue with nature remains a condition sine qua non. The artist is a man, himself nature and a part of nature in natural space.

But the ways that this man pursues both in his production and in the related study of nature may vary, both in number and in kind, according to his view of his own position in this natural space.

The ways often seem very new, though fundamentally they may not be new at all. Only their combination is new, or else they are really new in comparison with the number and character of yesterday’s ways. But to be new as against yesterday is still revolutionary, even if it does not shake the immense old world. There is no need to disparage the joy of novelty; though a clear view of history should save us from desperately searching for novelty as the cost of naturalness.”
-  Ways of Nature Study, 1923. Paul Klee

Natasha Joseph


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