Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
Paul Klee, Architecture with window, oil and pen on paper on wooden panel, 50 x 41,5 cm, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern -
Paul Klee, Architecture with window, oil and pen on paper on wooden panel, 50 x 41,5 cm, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
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Exhibitions 01/07—16/10/14

Paul Klee. Space Nature Architecture

During his time at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau Paul Klee made new spatial constructions and fantastical architectural designs inspired by Cubism and the Constructivists. With the dissolution of central perspective, completely new dimensions opened up for modern artists.

Even as an adolescent Paul Klee sketched plants and landscapes, but also buildings and cities. He tried to capture outward appearances as exactly as possible After his independent study and a cultural trip through Italy, Klee soon recognised that both in nature and architecture constructive energies were responsible for the emergence of plant and architectural forms. So his gaze shifted from the external surface to the internal construction of buildings and plants. Klee also found a confirmation of his new way of seeing, making the inner essence of an object visible, in his encounter with Cubism. In the 1910s, like the Cubists, he abandoned the illusionistic three-dimensionality of the picture space and the system of central perspective. 

In his time as teacher at the Bauhaus Paul Klee engaged intensively with architecture and city planning. He often commented ironically on the precise, rational geometry that prevailed at the late Bauhaus, using it for the construction of the fantastical and developing illogical, irrational constructions.

His late work, on the other hand, is dominated by buildings and luxuriant-looking plants in a childlike style.

This exhibition from the collection shows how Klee’s depiction of space, nature and architecture developed out of his naturalistic early work based on central perspective, via the constructivist Bauhaus period to the late work with simple forms. 

The exhibition presents about 120 works from the collection in a new context.

Selected works from the exhibition

Line Dances by Daniel Belton, 2010

"The Films are meditations on, and celebrations of space." Daniel Belton

Inspired by Paul Klee’s pictorial world, the New Zealand dancer, choreographer and video artist Daniel Belton has recently produced a series of dance films. For this exhibition we have chosen three films from the series Line Dances, whose architectural constructions arise out of three drawings by Klee: Two of them, Drawing for Room perspective with inhabitants (1921, 168) and Santa A. in B (1929, 170), are exhibited in the sections "Space" and "Architecture". In Daniel Belton’s films the dancers are removed from their traditional, earth-bound milieu, and balance in Klee’s filigree pictorial constructions. They enliven the geometrical formations and immerse themselves in Klee’s pictorial space. Daniel Belton is interested in translating dance into the virtual space of the film, because the movement can be constantly reinterpreted and re-choreographed. The flow of time and movement can be interrupted and manipulated. Filmed dance and digitally generated drawings are brought together in his films.


Programme from August to October