Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
Tu 24.05.2011

Press release Klee and Cobra - a child’s play

The Zentrum Paul Klee opens the temporary exhibition Klee and Cobra – a childs’ play on 25th May 2011. Pictures by Klee will be compared with pictures by the Cobra group of artists. Mutual ground is the enthusiasm for the pictorial expression of children.

Bringing Cobra together in combination with Klee is not immediately obvious. At first glance contrasts are clearly visible: Here the sensitive, ironical artist poet Paul Klee, there the Cobra painters, who after the catastrophe of World War II confronted reality unconditionally through the directness of their art. Also Klee and the Cobra artists had no contact with each other, since by the time the artist group was founded in 1948, Paul Klee (1879–1940) had already died.

The connections lie in the fascination for children’s art and the regard of the Cobra artists for Klee. Paul Klee’s research into the pictorial world of children is closely linked to his childhood drawings, which he rediscovered in 1902, and the birth of his son Felix in 1907. Klee was fascinated by the authentic expression, the innocence and immediacy of these picture worlds. Through the acquaintance of Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, he was further occupied with children’s drawings.

Cobra influenced by childrens’ drawings and Klee

The Cobra Group was founded on 8th November 1948 in Paris by Asger Jorn (1914–1973), Corneille (Corneille Guillaume Beverloo, 1922–2010), Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920–2005), Christian Dotremont (1922–1979), Joseph Noiret (born 1927) and Karel Appel (1921–2006). In 1949 the Belgian painter Pierre Alechinsky (born 1927) joins the group.Cobra was a revolt against contemporary society and the ruling power. At the same time the artists were seeking to break away from existing art movements. The child, not yet a part of society, becomes the model.Already before the founding of Cobra, Paul Klee’s work was an important source of inspiration for young artists in Denmark. Starting with Vilhelm Bjerke Petersen, who during the years 1930/31 was registered at the Bauhaus,Klee’s works and his pictorial concepts were guiding principles for the later Cobra artists Carl-Henning Pedersen, Ejler Bille and Asger Jorn.

An exhibition referring to children’s art

The exhibition shows the differences and also similarities in the artists’ occupation with children’s art. The various ways the artists access this theme and how they make use of it is one central theme, another is the reception of Klee’s art by the Cobra artists.Klee and Cobra – a childs’ play has come about as a cooperation between the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk (DK) and the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen (NL). After being shown in the ZPK, the exhibition will continue in Humlebæk (30. 9. 2011 until 8. 1. 2012) and then finally be shown in Amsteleveen (26.1. until 22.4. 2012).

Further information can be obtained from:
Maria-Teresa Cano, Director of Kommunikation and Kunstvermittlung
mariateresa.cano@zpk.org,Tel. +41 (0)31 359 01 01

Picture material can be found under the link:
http://presse.zpk.org (Benutzer [user name]: presse / Password: paulklee)