Word of the Day – Wednesday, March 29th



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KLEE (klay)

Swiss abstract artist
Common clues: Swiss painter Paul; “Twittering Machine” artist;
"The Mocker Mocked" painter; "Red Balloon" artist; Swiss abstractionist; Surrealist Paul
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Frequency in English language: 38563 / 86800
Paul Klee - Paintings

A drawing is simply a line going for a walk ~ Paul Klee

Paul Klee (December 18, 1879 – June 29, 1940) was a Swiss painter.

Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee (near Bern) of Switzerland into a musical family - his father, Hans Klee, taught music at the Hofwil Teacher Seminar near Berne. In his early years, Paul wanted to be a musician, but decided on the visual arts in his teen years. He studied art in Munich with Heinrich Knirr and Franz von Stuck. After travelling to Italy and then back to Bern, he settled in Munich, where he met Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc and other avant-garde figures, and became associated with the Blaue Reiter. Here he met Bavarian pianist Lily Stumpf, whom he married; they had one son.

In 1914, he visited Tunisia and was impressed by the quality of the light there, writing "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it, I know that it has hold of me forever ... Color and I are one. I am a painter."

Klee worked with many different types of media - oil paint, watercolor, ink and more. He often combined them into one work. He has been variously associated with expressionism, cubism and surrealism but his pictures are difficult to classify. They often have a fragile child-like quality to them, and are usually on a small scale. They frequently allude to poetry, music and dreams and sometimes include words or musical notation. The later works are distinguished by spidery hieroglyph-like symbols. His better known works include Southern (Tunisian) Gardens (1919), Ad Parnassum (1932) and Embrace (1939).

Twittering Machine

Following World War I, in which he fought as part of the imperial German army, Klee taught at the Bauhaus, and from 1931 at the Düsseldorf Academy, before being denounced by the Nazi Party for producing "degenerate art".

In 1933, Paul Klee returned to Switzerland; in 1935 he was diagnosed with scleroderma. The progression of his disease can be followed through the art he created in his last years.

He died in Bern in 1940.

Today, a painting by Paul Klee can sell for as much as US$7.5 million.

A museum dedicated to Paul Klee was built in Bern, Switzerland, by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. It opened in June 2005. It houses a collection of about 4000 art works by Paul Klee. Around 200 pieces of art are on display.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Paul Klee".