Paul Klee Prints

Written by Serena Berger
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Paul Klee prints greatly influenced both Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists, though the artist himself identified with no single artistic movement. Klee was a Swiss painter and was recognized as one of the most original masters of modern art. Rather than associating himself with a specific type of art, he let the bold, imaginative images and innovations of his fantastic works speak for themselves.

His earliest works were pencil landscape studies, which show the influence of Impressionism and black-and-white etchings with overtones of fantasy. His works from the 1920's are rich, complex, and abstract. Paul Klee prints show his obsession with colors and textures, both of which he used innovatively to capture images from his dreams and fantasies. While the works from this decade often touch on heavier subjects such as war and death, there are also many that are sweet and sublime.

Thick Lines in Paul Klee Prints

In the 1930's, Klee began to suffer from a disease called scleroderma, which would ultimately kill him; during the slow degenerative stages, this condition forced him to paint in a much simpler style because he could not control brushes the way he did before. From the tragedy of his illness, however, was born an even more distinctive style. Thick lines which look as if they were drawn by a child with crayons began to punctuate large areas of subdued color. Das Wert-Paket and Lady Apart are popular examples of Paul Klee prints from this time in his life.

Two of Klee's last works were Dieser Stern Lehrt Beugen and Paukenspieler 1940, which are also among his most famous. In the former, several of his by-then trademark black stick figures are placed against a rich blue background. In the latter, an eye in a frame dominates a canvas covered in red. These images say different things to different people and have been interpreted as anything from anti-war protests to the capturing of a dream or intricate and personal regression symbols.


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