The EY exhibition at the Tate Modern is Paul Klee: Making Visible, until the 9th of March. I didn’t know a great deal about the artist, so took a chance and headed down to Bankside to check the exhibition out.
Klee is an important figure of 20th century art. His breakthrough came during the First World War, following which he taught at the Bauhaus before moving to Düsseldorf and subsequently being dismissed from his teaching position by the Nazis, who labelled his works ‘degenerate’. Though I’m not a particular fan of twentieth-century art, anything labelled negatively by the Nazis gains merit in my eyes!
Most of Klee’s works are very small; this came as a surprise to me as for some reason I always imagine modern works of art to be huge. I saw a lot of them as ‘cute’ – this might sound like an odd thing to say about art, but many of the works were warm, attractive, with a sense of humour – something drew me into them and made me interested. I particularly liked the fish pictures, and the related ‘They’re Biting’. I loved the way his later works seemed to comment on Nazism and contemporary culture, and his late works – such as ‘Walpurgis Night’ and images of witches – had a distinctly darker tone. Despite my initial misgivings, I really enjoyed the exhibition and admired the variety in Klee’s work.