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Paul Klee

How Paul Klee reached of fulfilment at the close of his career: Exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler

Works shown in Basel reflect how he made peace with the approach of death

When Klee was suspended from his post at the Düsseldorf Academy by the Nazis who had just come to power in 1933, he decided to emigrate to Switzerland. This is the starting point of both the final part of his career and the focus of this exhibition (until 9 November). Klee’s style changed radically from his earlier pointillism to exploration of colour fields with heavy superimposed black lines. In 1935, Klee was diagnosed with an incurable disease and his productivity plummeted to an all-time low. He managed to regain his muse, when he became reconciled to his death. This allowed the metaphysical side of his art, which had always been a part of his work, to come to the fore. This exhibition includes many loans from the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, where the exhibition will move in November. There are also loans from the Klee family collections and other museums. The focus is on the paintings and the coloured works on paper (right, “Kettledrummer”, 1940), although some of the drawings are also on show.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Paul Klee: fulfillment in the late work, Fondation Beyeler, Basel'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 139 September 2003