Paul Klee

“Color possesses me. I don’t have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it.”  – Paul Klee

Painting: Castle and sun, Paul Klee, 1928, oil on canvas, Private collection

It is difficult to look at this painting and fail to notice how daring it is. The bright, contrasting colors and geometric shapes give it almost a simplistic aspect: it looks like a child’s game of cubes. But with these basic building blocks, Paul Klee manages to create a complex and contrasted image. The multitude of colors reminds the viewer of the skyline of a city, when the overall image hints at the figure of a castle. Klee also contrasts the central colors with a clay-colored background. One might interpret this in several ways: perhaps he does this in order to separate the central image from the background, thus creating a sense of perspective. Then again, perhaps he is contrasting the natural elements – the sun and the sky, painted in a matte, raw color – with the man-made construction that is the center of his work.

This painting beautifully illustrates how Paul Klee reverts to increasingly refined and primitive techniques in order to express his imagination. Paul Klee, a pioneer artist of Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism, was heavily influenced by primitive art; that is, art created by tribal cultures or societies.

— Victoire Monziols

 

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