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Paul Klee

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Paul Klee

Swiss, (1879–1940)
Paul Klee was a Swiss painter and important figure in the development of early 20th-century avant-garde art. Klee’s breadth of subject matter ranged from child-like portraits to geometric abstraction. He often painted architecture as well as the natural world, using his signature expressionist style to represent space. Born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, his imagination as well as an appreciation for art and music was cultivated by his family from a young age. As a young man, Klee studied art in Munich under Heinrich Knirr and the Symbolist painter Franz von Stuck. It was in Munich that he fell into the circles of Wassily Kandinsky and helped form the Der Blaue Reiter group. The group’s tenets included an interest in the expressive potential of color and its relationship to music, spirituality, and folk art. Klee exhibited alongside fellow members of the group August Macke, Franz Marc, and Alexej von Jawlensky throughout the 1910s. During the 1920s, the artist taught at the newly formed Bauhaus school at both the Weimar and Dessau campuses, before being forced by the Nazi regime to leave Germany in 1933. His works were later included in the Nazi’s infamous “Entartete Kunst” (degenerate art) exhibition of 1937.

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