Detail Paul Klee, Obstbergweg 6, Bern, 1897, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Donation Family Klee - © Klee-Nachlassverwaltung, Bern
Detail Paul Klee, Obstbergweg 6, Bern, 1897, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Donation Family Klee
© Klee-Nachlassverwaltung, Bern
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Exhibitions 18/10/2013—30/03/2014

Paul Klee – Life and Work

Did you know that Paul Klee’s favourite drink was a glass of good red wine? He was, incidentally, also a talented cook. And do you know his idea of happiness and unhappiness? That was either working successfully or being able not to work. What do you think his unconquerable aversion might have been? Having to talk a lot. And what scared him most was the jury.

You will learn this and much more from the exhibition ‘Paul Klee – Life and Work’. After the publication last year of a comprehensive monograph on Paul Klee comes this exhibition of around 300 works. In a chronological sequence you can discover the person, the life and the artistic work of Paul Klee.
This exhibition of the collection shows the work of Paul Klee in a chronological overview, and allows you discover hitherto unknown letters and photographs, new aspects of the artist’s life. Klee as a brilliant artist, but also as a human being between success and failure, joy and sorrow.

Last year’s monograph, the standard work on Paul Klee published by the ZPK, is now followed by the exhibition. It also shows the more than 40 carefully restored reverse glass paintings by Paul Klee for the first time in the ZPK.

Over the past three years, thanks to the support of the Paul Klee Stiftung of the Burgergemeinde Bern, the Zentrum Paul Klee has been able to carry out an ambitious and interesting project of conservation and restoration project: the restoration and reframing of Paul Klee’s 41 reverse glass paintings from the ZPK’s holdings. Klee’s glass paintings belong to one of the most exciting and unusual groups of work in the artist’s early work. They cover a wide range of themes and motifs, from landscapes and animals via portraits to satirical themes. 

Another major challenge was to restore the reverse glass paintings to their reconstructed original frames. These were applied by Paul Klee himself, but removed in the 1960s and 70s and replaced by new frames in line with contemporary taste. These alterations do not correspond to the high museological standards of the Zentrum Paul Klee. Intensive research and the evaluation of all available photographic documents in Paul Klee’s lifetime as well as those from the archive of Felix Klee have now made it possible to have precise information about the original framing for the overwhelming majority of the reverse glass works.

Programme from August to October