Collection Paul Klee
Conceptual and conservatory notes on the presentation of the works
However, there are also conceptual and logistical reasons for regularly replacing the works on display. Even the 1750 square metres of exhibition area available to the Zentrum Paul Klee in the two exhibition halls are not sufficient to display the huge collection of works in their entirety. In addition, the principle of replacement ensures that visitors continue to get a new, fresh and occasionally unusual perspective of Paul Klee: the regularly changing selection of works can also be supplemented by selected works on loan, and with their alternating focus on content and references they continually reveal new aspects of Klee’s oeuvre. This also gives the general public access to lesser-known individual works and groups of work.
There are a good 4,000 works by Paul Klee stored in the Art Depository of the Zentrum Paul Klee - the world’s most important collection of paintings, water colours and drawings by this artist. The extremely comprehensive and diverse collection of works makes it impossible to display the entire range at the same time. The special sensitivity of the work by Klee also prevents the Zentrum from staging a classic exhibition of the collection, with the same works on display all the time. Instead, the Zentrum Paul Klee presents its own in-house collection of works in the form of a rotating selection of approx. 120 to 150 works which is changed on a regular basis, each selection being displayed under an alternating theme.
The fragile condition of Paul Klee’s paintings is attributable to the artist’s particular method of working. He was not only content-related and formal in his approach, but also very keen on technical experimentation and used extremely light sensitive colours, paints and papers. If they were to be over-exposed to light – despite the subdued lighting in the exhibition rooms and the protective glazing used – the colours would gradually fade or change and the papers become brown or brittle. That is the reason why the works on show are changed roughly every six months and then placed in the Depository to "recover". Only by having these "periods of rest" can we ensure that the works of art are preserved undamaged and that people can continue to enjoy them in their beautiful original form for many years to come.