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Anxious States: Expressionism from Gauguin to Oliveira

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Seiltanzer (The Rope Dancer) from Kunst der Gegenwart (Art of the Present)

1923
20th Century
20 1/2 in. x 15 in. (52.07 cm x 38.1 cm)

Paul Klee, Swiss, (1879–1940)

Object Type: Works on Paper
Creation Place: Europe, Switzerland
Medium and Support: Color lithograph on BSB laid paper
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, Susan L. Mills Fund
Accession Number: 1940.98
Paul Klee’s work is more abstracted than many pieces in this exhibition, but this style was a growing aesthetic within Expressionist art. In 1911 Klee joined the art group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), which was founded by one of Klee’s closest friends, Vassily Kandinsky, and the artist Franz Marc. In 1920, a bit before this work was made, Klee joined the faculty of the Bauhaus, one of the most well-known art and architectural schools, located in Germany. During his time at the Bauhaus, Klee produced many works, including The Rope Dancer. His works during this period are characterized by Klee’s fascination with color, symbolism, and his dark sense of humor. In The Rope Dancer, Klee depicts a stick figure of a tightrope walker balancing on a complex system constructed of various lines and shapes, creating a feeling of both whimsy and slight anxiety. The artworks produced later on in Klee’s life would become increasingly melancholic after he was labeled as a degenerate by the Nazis and eventually moved back to his hometown in Switzerland.

--Eva Goldstein-Moore, December 2017

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Dimensions
  • Image Dimensions: 17 1/8 in. x 10 1/2 in. (43.5 cm x 26.67 cm)
  • Mat Dimensions: 24 in. x 20 in. (60.96 cm x 50.8 cm)
  • Sheet Dimensions: 20 1/2 x 15 in. (52.07 x 38.1 cm)

Bibliography List
This object has the following bibliographic references:


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