Paul Klee

Paul Klee had a happy childhood. There is no angst, anywhere, in his paintings. There is an exceptional range, rigorous research into the power of colour and shape, and some playfulness.

My favourite from the exhibition is Fish Magic.

Fish-Magic-1925

That two-faced woman at the base of the painting, hand raised flirtatiously. You can see me to her left, in dunce’s cap, peering round the edge, smiling winsomely.

Here is Portrait of an Artist.

Portrait of an Artist

Immediately, I think of Miro: though Miro played with dozens of such line-portraits, for years, and Klee did one, with Miro’s ladder to the sky now leading down to the base of the picture, and beyond.

In April 1914, when he was 34, Klee went to Tunisia. He wrote in his diary,

Colour possesses me. I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Colour and I are one. I am a painter.

I find his need to assert that, then, and his joyous assertion of it, wonderful.

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