An Appreciation of Surreal Artist Paul Klee

Paul Klee was a German and Swiss painter and musician who lived from 1879 to 1940. He took abstract art to a new level with his paintings that captured surreal imagination. Paulklee.net is a website dedicated to his memory, showing his art work, quotes and biographical information. His work is best described as unique, colorful and symbolic of dry humor and open minded thinking. Klee spread his radical artistic expressions as a teacher at the German Bauhaus School of Art, Design and Architecture. The site also presents videos of his paintings set to upbeat adventurous instrumental music.

Klee was raised by a musical family, as his father Hans was a music teacher of vocals, violin, piano and organ at Bern State Seminary while his mother Ida was a singer. Paul Klee learned to play violin by age 7 and by age 11 was considered an exceptional member of the Bern Music Association. As a musician he appreciated traditional music of the 1700s and 1800s but was unimpressed with the music of his era. His interests shifted from music to visual arts as a teenager, in which he wanted to break free of traditional art and experiment with new ideas.

The site gives deep insight on Paul Klee’s motives behind his art. Color, for example was a tool that Klee used to convey optimism and nobility in art as an alternative to the sarcasm and pessimism depicted in his black and white pictures. The site also explains Klee’s exploration into cubism and asbstract painting. Cubism is a form of modern art that breaks up objects and reassembles them with a 3D effect in a manner that appears abstract. Klee joined the German military during World War I and began to explore abstract war themes in his lithographs.

Before leaving Germany for Switzerland in 1933, Klee went on a prolific spree of creating hundreds of pictures including one of his most celebrated works of art, His Ad Parnassum in 1932. In 1939 his output had increased exponentially, using geometric shapes to convey moods. Toward the end of his life his art leaned toward pessimism, particularly with the painting “Death and Fire.” His surreal art culminated in a reflection of humanity with a degree of sadness and subtle warning.

PaulKlee.net pays tribute to the artist in a way that maintains a sense of futuristic expressions. When you click the painting gallery you are instantly taken into a realm that merges past, present and future. The past is conveyed through the classic art itself, while the present is felt in the interpretation of the art, which takes you outside the norm of all formulas. The future is sensed from the unexplained mystery of the art, such as the shapes that defy conventional geometry and color schemes that go against the grain of typical design.

“A line is a dot,” according to Paul Klee, “that went for a walk.” The site lists several other Klee quotes that reflect his unique view of art and his brilliance of using art as a medium to communicate social messages. The site is also a very useful starting point in learning about the life of Paul Klee and his vision of the world through innovative art.