Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Paul Klee (1879-1940)


Paul Klee (1879-1940)
signed 'Klee' (lower left); dated, numbered and titled '1921. 20G. Helldunkel-Studie' (on the artist's mount)
brush, brown-black wash and watercolor on paper laid down by the artist on board
Image size: 9 x 11 in. (23.5 x 29.2 cm.)
Mount size: 12 x 17 in. (31.1 x 43.8 cm.)
Painted in 1921
Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Chanin, New York
Sale room notice
A photo-certificate from Dr. Josef Helfenstein and Dr. Michael Baumgartner of the Paul Klee Stiftung dated Bern, 20 October 1998 accompanies this watercolor.

Complete provenance and exhibition history for this work are as follows:
Berggruen & Cie., Paris
Galerie Tarica, Paris

New York, World House Galleries, Paul Klee: Watercolors and Drawings, April-May 1958, no. 6.

Lot Essay

Helldunkel ("Bright-dark") displays the emerging synthesis of two stylistic trends within Klee's work: the basic structure of variously shaped rectangles and triangles is derived from Robert Delaunay's Fentre series, over which the artist has superimposed a simple calligraphic architecture composed of x-shaped signs. The zigzag elements override the essential flatness of the structure to create a more bustling and ambiguous space, composed in subtle shades of gray. This approach eventually leads to the constructive drawings of the late 1920s (see lot 565).

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