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Printed Sheet with Picture

Paul Klee ( 1937 )

Collection item 0999
  • Period Twentieth-Century
  • Materials Oil on canvas
  • Object Number 0999
  • Dimensions 23 5/8 x 22 1/4 in.; 60.0075 x 56.515 cm.; Framed: 32 3/4 in x 31 3/8 in x 3 1/8 in; 83.18 cm x 79.69 cm x 7.94 cm
  • Credit Line Acquired 1948; © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY

With its figures, symbols, patterns, and shapes, this work shows the multilayered influences of primitive cave painting, ancient textiles, African sculpture, and Surrealist art on Paul Klee’s creativity. Klee became interested in non-Western art in the 1920s, and, at an early age, visited the ethnographic collections of the Bernisches Historisches Museum. In this work, his hieroglyphic imagery presents mysterious and elusive forms like a moon woman in profile, a fish, and a black and red mask adorned with horns. In 1937, the year Printed Sheet with Picture was painted, Klee found his work vilified in the Degenerate Art exhibition; his art was also removed from German public collections. For Phillips, “No art could be more personal than the art of Klee. This private individualism … was no doubt what seemed so dangerous to Hitler.”

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Ten Americans: After Paul Klee explores Printed Sheet with Picture

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