studied Paul Klee extensively, because I felt a brotherly recognition
from the first time I saw pictures of his small, quirky, imaginative,
colorful paintings. He paints like a child paints. How he maintains
such a childlike, fairyland consciousness as a grown-up is a mystery.
He is a creator of worlds, each one different, on his small pieces
of paper, canvas, or material like burlap. His paintings have what
my friend Lyn Ott called an "inner glow". Lyn was writing
of Rembrandt, yet Klee, with his little designs, manifests a species
of the same beauty as the great Dutchman.
Klee's paintings show that the everyday
world contains hidden magic. I imagine him amusing himself, making
his little doodles even in a doctor's waiting room or somewhere equally
boring. His works of art are spiritual maps that point the way to
the eternal child within us, who alone can enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Even his dark works, done in the World War II years, bring me this
sense of magic, and I have to glean a sense of the somberness of the
pieces from their titles.
Learning that Klee, a longtime teacher
at the Bauhaus, also wrote journals that have been published, I rushed
to find what tales such a whimsical, mystical soul would spin in words.
I was perplexed to find the pages I turned to to be ruminations on
abstract, mathematical underpinnings of art that I couldn't even begin
to fathom. Maybe some day I'll look again. The whimsy, the soul, must
be there in those pages, somewhere.
My world is much richer for Klee. His
work reminds me that hidden in every situation is a world as magical
as the ones he depicts.
discussion of Klee, including the painting above
nice online gallery of Klee's works
back to Artists
"What Remains Is the
Essence", the home pages of Max Reif:
children's stories, "The
Hall of Famous Jokes", whimsical
prose, paintings, and
DAYS AND PRESCHOOL DAYS, TOO
a book about working and playing with children
send an e-mail
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