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May Picture

Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)

Date:
1925
Medium:
Oil on cardboard
Dimensions:
16 5/8 x 19 1/2 in. (42.2 x 49.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.42
  • Description

    This work is one of Paul Klee's Magic Square series of oil paintings and watercolors that derive from the 1914 Tunisian watercolors in which he fractured the landscape into squares. They are also related to Klee's preoccupation with the laws of color, prompted by his teaching at the Bauhaus. The squares in this painting might be viewed as odd-shaped stones-in all the colors of the rainbow, to say nothing of the various shades of gray-assembled to form an abstract mosaic.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (verso, stretcher): 1925 c.-null Maibild Klee

  • Exhibition History

    Kunsthaus Zürich. "Ausstellung," April 11–May 5,1926, no. 35 (as for sale, SFr 1750).

    Wiesbaden. Neues Museum and Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden. "August Ausstellung 1926," August 1926, no. 32.

    Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden. "30 deutsche Künstler aus unserer Zeit," April 6–early June 1929, no. 17 (lent by the Kirchhoff collection).

    Paris. Berggruen et Cie. "Paul Klee. Les années 20," May–July 1971, no. 48.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 6–July 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (p. 203).

    Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," January 22–April 16, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 215).

    London. Tate Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," May 17–August 13, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 215).

    Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Paul Klee: Selección de sesenta obras. The Berggruen Klee Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1989–January 1990, no. 49.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," December 6, 1996–April 13, 1997, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Paintings," September 14, 1999–March 12, 2000, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Best," May 24–September 22, 2002, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee the Voyager," February 4–May 4, 2003, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: The Late Years," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus (1921–1931)," November 19, 2004–April 3, 2005, no catalogue.

    Weimar. Bauhaus Museum. "Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar," April 1–July 5, 2009, no. 5.059.

    Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity," November 8, 2009–January 25, 2010, no. 88.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," October 18, 2012–March 31, 2013, no catalogue.

  • References

    Eva Maria Triska in Paul Klee. Das Werk der Jahre 1919–1933: Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Köln. Cologne, 1979, p. 66.

    Eva Maria Triska. "Die Quadratbilder Paul Klees—ein Beitrag zur Analyse formaler Ausdrucksmittel in seinem Werk und seiner Theorie. Mit einem Exkurs zur Ableitung von Klees Farbenlehre." PhD. diss., Universität Wien, 1980, p. 107, pl. 28.

    Christian Geelhaar. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Woodbury, N. Y., 1982, p. 46, fig. 35 (color) [German ed., Cologne, 1974, pp. 53–54, ill. (color)].

    Roger Bevan. "Exhibition Reviews: The Metropolitan Museum as a Museum of Modern Art: Year II." Apollo 128 (October 1988), pp. 282, fig. 2.

    Sabine Rewald. Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 202–3, 284, 318, ill. (color and bw), fig. 50 (installation photo).

    Phyllis Williams Lehmann. "A Roman Source for Klee's 'Athlete's Head'." Art Bulletin 72 (December 1990), p. 646 n. 39.

    Ulrich Bischoff. Paul Klee. Munich, 1992, pp. 49–50, 174, ill.

    Monika Goedl in Paul Klee: Die Zeit der Reife. Werke aus der Sammlung der Familie Klee. Ed. Manfred Fath. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Mannheim. Munich, 1996, p. 25 n. 22.

    Wolfgang Kersten. "Paul Klee. Kunst der Reprise." Lehmbruck, Brancusi, Léger, Bonnard, Klee, Fontana, Morandi: Texte zu Werken im Kunstmuseum Winterthur. Ed. Dieter Schwarz. Winterthur, 1997, p. 110, fig. 7 (color).

    Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, eds. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Vol. 4, 1923–1926. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. New York, 2000, p. 350, no. 3801, ill.

    Christine Hopfengart. "Klee an den deutschen 'Museen der Gegenwart', 1916–1933." Paul Klee: Kunst und Karriere. Beiträge des Internationalen Symposiums in Bern. Eds. Oskar Bätschmann and Josef Helfenstein. Bern, 2000, p. 74 n. 49.

    Bradford Epley and Christa Haiml in Klee and America. Eds. Josef Helfenstein and Elizabeth Hutton Turner. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie, New York. Houston, 2006, pp. 256–57.

    Gerda Wendermann in Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar. Eds. Ute Ackermann and Ulrike Bestgen. Exh. cat., Bauhaus Museum, Weimar. Berlin, 2009, pp. 193, 353, no. 5.059, colorpl. 301.

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 410, ill. (color).

    Katja Förster and Stefan Frey, eds. "In inniger Freundschaft": Alexej Jawlensky, Paul und Lily Klee, Marianne Werefkin. Der Briefwechsel. Zurich, 2013, p. 131.

    Matthew Gale in The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2013, p. 110.

  • See also
483161

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