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This study explores diversity as the mainspring of Klee's creative practice. Drawing on Klee's own classifications for his work, along with those of distinguished Klee scholars, the book traces the development of the artist's rich visual language not as a single line of enquiry, but as a series of movements, counter-movements and interconnections. By the time of his death in 1940, Klee was an acknowledged modern master, his fame and influence both as an artist and a teacher recognized throughout the western world. However, his work lost prominence for many years from the early 1960s, only re-emerging into view in much later years. Featuring an essay by Robert Kudielka, Professor of Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art at the Universitat der Kunste, Berlin, along with a personal response to Klee's work by renowned British artist Bridget Riley, this book brings to the fore the seminal role Klee had in the development of 20th-century art and signals the ongoing relevance of his work.
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"I cannot be pinned down here and now/ because I live as well with the dead/ as with the unborn./ Somewhat closer to the heart of creation than usual,/ And still not close enough." Klee's tombstone engraving speaks volumes to the way the Swiss artist lived and died, which art scholar Kudielka and artist Riley attempt to capture here. Klee (1879-1940) was a fundamentalist of sorts who spent his life tapping into and maintaining the flow of his creative source; his was a honing of skill into its barest necessity. The development of his work over the last 26 years of his life is lavishly illustrated in this volume, which clearly delineates how he extracted nonessential elements to create pure rhythm and polyphony. The authors provide a succinct discussion of Klee's later work, with interesting snippets from his writing. They manage to mirror the style and thrust of Klee himself: a great mass of information concerning the artist is distilled into essential words and pictures. Klee believed that to paint was simply to put the right color in the right place, a deceptively simple concept ably reflected here. Still, while this is a wonderfully illustrated book, it ultimately offers little new understanding of the artist. Recommended for libraries needing quality color images by Klee and larger public libraries looking to complement more challenging books on Klee by Jean-Louis Ferrier, Roland Doschka, and Carolyn Lanchner. Nadine Dalton Speidel, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Beautifully illustrated this book provides an intelligent insight into the creative --process
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