“Transcendentalism was the common interest of the painters who formed the Expressionist group known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) in 1910. It was also a deep-set part of Bauhaus thought and practice, for nothing could be further from the truth than the idea that the Bauhaus represented some kind of logic opposed to the world-transforming aspirations of Expressionism. When Kandinsky taught at the Bauhaus, so did a Swiss artist named Paul Klee. And though Klee was not a Theosophist he was, like Kandinsky, devoted to an ideal of painting that stemmed from German idealist metaphysics.
He was the complete Romantic, hearing the Weltgeist in every puff of wind, reverent before nature but careful to stylize it. Klee’s assumptions were unabashedly transcendentalist.
“Klee’s career was a search for the symbols and metaphors that would make this belief visible. More than any other painter outside the Surrealist movement (with which his work had many affinities – its interest in dreams, in primitive art, in myth, and cultural incongruity), he refused to draw hard distinctions between art and writing. Indeed, many of his paintings are a form of writing: they pullulate with signs, arrows, floating letters, misplaced directions, commas, and clefs; their code for any object, from the veins of a leaf to the grid pattern of Tunisian irrigation ditches, makes no attempt at sensuous description, but instead declares itself to be a purely mental image, a hieroglyph existing in emblematic space.
– From Robert Hughes, “The Shock of the New”
Red and White Domes http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/domes.jpg
Rembrance of a Garden http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/garden.jpg
Southern (Tunisian) Garden http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.tunisian-gardens.jpg
Dream City http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.dream-city.jpg
The Golden Fish http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/golden-fish/klee.golden-fish.jpg
Ancient Sound abstract on black http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.ancient-sound.jpg
Highway and Byways http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.highway-byways.jpg
Ad Parnassum http://www.artchive.com/artchive/K/klee/parnassu.jpg.html
Southern Gardens http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.southern-gardens.jpg
Legend of the Nile http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/nile.jpg
Park of Idols http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.park-idols.jpg
Insula Dulcamara http://www.sai.msu.su/wm/paint/auth/klee/klee.insula-dulcamara.jpg
Death and Fire http://www.artchive.com/artchive/k/klee/death_fire.jpg