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

Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II.)

PAUL KLEE (1879-1940)
Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II.)
signed 'Klee' (upper left); dated, numbered and inscribed '1921/51 Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II)' (on the artist's mount)
watercolour on paper laid down on the artist's mount
image: 8 ¼ x 5 ½ in. (21 x 14 cm.)
artist's mount: 9 x 7 1/8 in (22.7 x 18 cm.)
Executed in 1921
Lily Klee, Bern, by descemt from the artist in 1940, until 1946.
Werner Allenbach, Bern, by 1946, until 1958.
Galerie Berggruen & Cie, Paris, by 1958.
James Wise, Geneva, New York & Nice, in 1958.
Galerie Berggruen & Cie, Paris, by 1959, until 1961.
The Elkon Gallery, New York, by 1998.
Private collection, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
W. Kersten & O. Okuda, Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung, exh. cat., Dusseldorf, 1995, p. 345 (illustrated).
The Paul Klee Foundation, ed., Paul Klee, Catalogue raisonné, vol. III, 1919-1922, Bern, 1999, no. 2642, p. 276 (illustrated).
M.F. Popia, L'estetica musicale di Paul Klee, Genoa, 1999, p. 270 (illustrated).
Exh. cat., Perspektiven: Blicke, Durchblicke, Ausblicke in Natur und Leben, in Kunst und Volkskunst, Schlossmuseum, Murnau, 2000, pp. 65-74.
Munich, Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Paul Klee, Zweite Gesamtausstellung, May - June 1925, no. 50, n.p.
Paris, Galerie Berggruen, Klee lui-même, 20 oeuvres: 1907-1940, 1961, n.p. (illustrated).
New York, The Elkon Gallery, Masters of the Twentieth Century, October - November 1997, no. 12 (illustrated).
Turin, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Paul Klee, October 2000 - January 2001 (illustrated).
Special notice

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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
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Please note the additional provenance, literature and exhibition history for this work as reflected on

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Lot Essay

Executed in 1921, the present work emerged at a time of unrivalled professional success for Klee. In October 1920 the artist had been invited by Walter Gropius to join the faculty at his progressive artistic school, the Bauhaus, as well as Lyonel Feininger, Johannes Itten, Walther Klemm and others. Realising this was an offer that he could not refuse, in January 1921 Klee left Munich for Weimar. Klee quickly immersed himself in life at the school, and was swiftly appointed to further roles in the glass-painting studio and on the school’s revolutionary foundation course. This was one of the happiest and most productive periods of the artist's life and it was here that he was able to develop his theories and ideas, forming a constructive aesthetic dominated by geometric forms and planes of colour infused with a lyrical poeticism.

In Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II.) this highly productive energy resonates from Klee's perfectly balanced composition, through his use of carefully modulated watercolour creating a bold three-dimensional and almost architectural effect on an intimate scale. Filling every corner of the sheet with pigment, Klee presents us with a floating progression of colours and geometric forms dissecting and diverging within the composition in a pattern of interlocking and overlapping strobe-like colour planes, ranging from deep inky blue, to rich shades of ochre, red and effervescent green and yellow. Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II.) is a succinct reflection of how Klee was strongly influenced by the teaching of architecture at this time, and the return to simple cubic forms. Exemplifying the distinctly experimental and constructivist nature of his production, we see Klee taking it a step further, dissecting and rearranging the composition, through cutting the sheet, dividing out a section of the cubic elements and moving them to join the lower part. Upon close inspection and therefore our realisation of this 'joining' of two parts, we at once gain further insight into the title of this work and can derive a somewhat literal meaning from 'gefügt' meaning 'joined'.

One of a group of watercolours that Klee chose to represent him in his important one-man exhibition at Hans Goltz's gallery in Munich between May-June 1925, Transparent-perspectivisch gefügt (II.) marks an apex in Klee's varied and prolific oeuvre, as it moves with pulsating and rhythmic energy, its abstraction and expressionism both foreshadowing what would follow in Modern art history.

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