I have been drawn to the art of Paul Klee since I was a teenage graphic design student… The other day while exploring personal mythology via Google, I discovered that German Jewish art historian, Carl Einstein, (yes he was related to Albert), used the term ‘private mythology’ to describe the world of Paul Klee. I researched this further, and found a book, sadly out of print, entitled The Klee Universe by Christine Hopfengart. The synopsis of the book from Abe Books reads:
There are artists whose métier is the observation or documentation of the world, and artists who set the world aside altogether to build their own visionary cosmology, designing its constituent parts from scratch as a personal mythology relayed in motifs. Paul Klee (1879-1940) was such an artist, as his aphorism Art does not reproduce the visible, rather it makes visible testifies, and The Klee Universe addresses his work from this perspective. In 1906, Klee noted in his diary, All will be Klee, and in 1911, as the encyclopedist of his cosmos, he began to meticulously chronicle his works in a catalogue that, by the time he died, was to contain more than 9,000 items. Here, in the fashion of an Orbis Pictus or a Renaissance emblem book, Klee’s oeuvre is made legible as a cogent entirety, in thematic units address: the human life cycle, from birth and childhood to sexual desire, parenthood and death; music, architecture, theater and religion; plants, animals and landscapes; and, finally, darker, destructive forces in the shape of war, fear and death. The Klee Universe re-imagines the artist as a Renaissance man, an artist of great learning whose cosmos proves to be a coherent system of ideas and images.
I looked back at some of my favourite works of Paul Klee and I think we have shared elements in our mythologies, the moon, dark shadowy landscapes, nighttime…
Image sourced on 30/7/14 from: http://www.1paintings.com/images/Blossoms%20in%20the%20Night.jpg