Paul Klee, Poet/Painter (Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture)
It is no coincidence that most of the artists at the vanguard of early 20th-century modernist art were poets as well as painters. Paul Klee (1879-1940) was among them. Known today almost exclusively as a visual artist, he was also a poet who experimented across a range of poetic forms. In 1901, while still vacillating between a career as a painter and one as a poet, Klee predicted he would end up expressing himself through the word, "the highest form of art." This first scholarly monograph devoted to Klee's poetry proposes that he lived up to that prediction. It considers poems he identified as such and visual images that are poetic in their compositional techniques, metaphorical imagery, and linear structures. It provides selected examples of Klee's poetry along with English translations that capture the spirit and literal meaning of the German originals. It places the poems and related images within the spectrum of contemporary poetic practice, revealing that Klee matched wits with Christian Morgenstern, rose to the provocations of Kurt Schwitters, and gave new form to the Surrealists' "exquisite corpses." Paul Klee, Poet/Painter is a case study in the reciprocity of poetry and painting in early modernist practice. It introduces a little-known facet of Klee's creative activity and re-evaluates his contributions to a modernist aesthetic. Kathryn Porter Aichele is Associate Professor in the Art Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Between Klee’s poem and German Romanticism in “Klee and German Romanticism,” 80. Vogel links the text to Tagebücher #920, 1913, 333: “Weh mir unter dem Druck der wiederkehrenden Stunde, in der Mitte allein, in der Tiefe der schleichende Wurm” (Zwischen Wort und Bild, 145–46). The first line of Klee’s “Motto” combines the words “Sturm” and “Wurm” excerpted from the two texts. 68 Jürgen Glaesemer (Paul Klee — Handzeichnungen: Kindheit bis 1920 [Bern: Kunstmuseum, 1973], 1:209) reproduces the two.
Another fragment, like ON, the name MONTGOLFIER becomes the linguistic substitute for the displaced image of a “montgolfière.” Assuming this to be the case, the substitution raises the question of why Klee would have used a word fragment instead of the image of a hot-air balloon. Historical circumstance provides one possible explanation. The most literal-minded viewers in the twenties might have linked the image of a balloon to the scientific experiments of the physicist and balloon pilot Auguste.
Themes and variations. The transparent architectural fantasy represented in Palace is anchored to the ground by building blocks from Klee’s familiar repertoire of arches and rectangles, some topped with gables, others with scallops. The roofline unfolds as a pattern book of fairy-tale architecture, beginning with double towers on the left, then morphing into a succession of turreted, domed, and crenellated projections of varying heights. Klee’s palace is architecturally eclectic, but it does not.
POETIC PAINTING 145 Dreigroschenoper), the popular Brecht/Weill/Neher collaboration that Klee could have seen during its phenomenally successful run in Berlin beginning in late summer 1928, and in provincial German theaters for much of the following year. Given the proximity of Dessau to Leipzig, it seems equally likely that Klee might also have attended a performance of Mahagonny. If so, he would have found Neher’s set designs remarkably similar to some of his own works dating from the.
AIOEK (fig. 14) and Alphabet WE. The next year he again shifted between two language systems, inscribing textual fragments in the pictorial setting of Eternity for Little People before reverting to the visual abstractions of Poem in Pictorial Script. Since Klee’s poetic output — whether verbal, visual, or a synthesis of the two — rarely developed in predictable ways, it is conceivable that he might have found a way to turn the “abstractivist” vocabulary of Poem in Pictorial Script into his own.