Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
Tu 25.01.2011

Press release Paul Klee and Franz Marc

«When I tell you who Franz Marc is, then I must simultaneously recognise who I am, since much of what I take part in also belongs to him. He is more humane, he loves warmth, explicitly.»Paul Klee, Diary IV, 1916

The friendship between Paul Klee and Franz Marc, one of the founders of the «Blue Rider», is regarded as the most touching and enduring artistic relationship in the history of art in the 20th century. The first meeting between the two painters in early 1912 is the start of a friendship, which linked personally and artistically the two fundamentally different temperaments until the tragic wartime death of Franz Marc near Verdun in 1916.The combination of the two names awakens many associations, thoughts about an art linked to the circle of the «Blue Rider», but also notions of profound agreement between the painters, who stood up against conventions and traditions in order to find a new path of their own.

What connected the two friends: the independent, analytical thinker Paul Klee and the religiously inspired utopian Franz Marc? What linked Klee - who converted the kitchen of his Schwabing apartment into a studio and looked after their son, while his wife earned their upkeep giving piano lessons - to the civilisation-weary Marc, whose withdrawal to the country he shared not only with familiar animals but now and then with two lovers?

The exhibition

How did this friendship begin, how did it develop and what did it mean to the two artists?The exhibition Paul Klee – Franz Marc. Dialogue in Pictures poses these questions. It unites for the first time more than 100 works of the two artists, including a large number of masterpieces from famous museums in Germany and Switzerland. The exhibition was created in close collaboration with the Franz Marc Museum in Kochel and the Moritzburg Foundation in Halle and presents this richly-facetted dialogue structured into themes, and examines the most important components: the illustrated letters and postcards, projects planned together such as the Bible illustrations or the Candide drawings by Paul Klee, as well as a series of important aquarelles created in the process of analysing the colour theories of Robert Delaunay. The climax of the exhibition presents, alongside the illustrated postcards, the animal pictures by Franz Marc, the modern animal painter par excellence. Like no other artist he used the techniques of modern painting to approach the «soul» of the animals and the utopia of a paradisian world. Horses, deer, sheep, bulls become models of originality and purity in Marc’s expressive, colourful painting.

For more information please contact:
Maria-Teresa Cano, Head of Communication and Art mediation
Tel. +41 (0)31 359 01 01