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PAUL KLEE (1879-1940)
PAUL KLEE (1879-1940)

STADTARTIGER AUFBAU

Details
PAUL KLEE (1879-1940) STADTARTIGER AUFBAU SIGNED AND DATED 'KLEE 1917.46' (LOWER LEFT) TEMPERA AND WATERCOLOUR ON CARD 12 5/8 X 9 1/8IN. (34 X 23.3CM.) EXECUTED IN 1917
Provenance
GALERIE DER STURM, HERWARTH WALDEN, BERLIN
ANON. SALE, STUTTGARTER KUNSTKABINETT, STUTTGART, 24-26 NOVEMBER 1948, LOT 1104
ACQUIRED FROM THE ABOVE BY THE HUSBAND OF THE PRESENT OWNER
Exhibited
MUNICH, KUNSTHAUS DAS REICH, DER STURM, JUNE-OCTOBER 1918.
MUNICH, GALERIE NEUE KUNST, HANS GOLTZ, PAUL KLEE, 60 AUSSTELLUNG, MAY-JUNE 1920, NO. 5.
BERLIN, GALERIE DER STURM, PAUL KLEE, HANS MATTIS TEUTSCH, GESAMTSCHAU 99. AUSSTELLUNG, JULY-AUGUST 1921, NO. 8.

Lot Essay

THIS WORK IS RECORDED AS STADTARTIGER AUFBAU 1917.46 IN THE PAUL KLEE STIFTUNG, BERN.

EXECUTED IN THE SPRING OF 1917, STADTARTIGER AUFBAU IS ONE OF A VERY SMALL NUMBER OF OIL PAINTINGS THAT KLEE WAS ABLE TO PRODUCE DURING THE FIRST WORLD WAR. AT THIS TIME, KLEE WAS STATIONED IN THE PAYMASTER'S OFFICE OF THE FLYING SCHOOL AT GERSTHOFEN NEAR AUGSBURG AND AS THE ARTIST'S SON FELIX KLEE REMEMBERS, "AS THE PAYMASTER COULD NOT COUNT, MY FATHER DID MOST OF THE WORK. THIS MADE HIM INDISPENSABLE AND ENABLED HIM TO PAINT WHENEVER HE FOUND A MOMENT, STORING HIS WORKS IN HIS DESK DRAWER." (FELIX KLEE IN CONVERSATION WITH SABINE REWALD, SEE PAUL KLEE: THE BERGGRUEN KLEE COLLECTION IN THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK 1988, P. 33). DUE TO AN EXTREME SHORTAGE OF PAINTING MATERIALS, KLEE WAS FORCED TO SCAVENGE WHATEVER HE COULD LAY HIS HANDS ON. "AT THAT TIME", FELIX KLEE RECALLS, HIS FATHER "BEGAN TO PAINT ON AEROPLANE LINEN. AFTER A PLANE HAD CRASHED AND THE DEAD HAD BEEN REMOVED, MY FATHER, ARMED WITH SCISSORS, WOULD RUSH TO THE FIELD AND CUT OFF PIECES OF LINEN WITH WHICH THE PLANES WERE THEN COVERED." (OP.CIT).

STADTARTIGER AUFBAU IS PAINTED ON THE BACK OF AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR DER STURM, THE FOREMOST EXPRESSIONIST PERIODICAL EDITED BY HERWARTH WALDEN. IN FEBRUARY 1917, KLEE HAD BEEN GRANTED ONE WEEK'S LEAVE FROM HIS DUTIES AT THE FLYING SCHOOL TO GO TO BERLIN FOR A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL EXHIBITION OF HIS WORK AT WALDEN'S DER STURM GALLERY. IT SEEMS LIKELY THAT IT WAS ON THIS OCCASION THAT HE OBTAINED THE ADVERTISEMENT, AND USED IT AS THE BASE FOR THE PRESENT PAINTING A MONTH OR SO LATER.

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