Paul Klee: 1939
In 1939, the year before Paul Klee’s death from a long illness and against a backdrop of sociopolitical turmoil and the outbreak of World War II, he worked with a vigor and inventiveness that rivaled even the most productive periods of his youth. This book illuminates the artist’s response to his personal difficulties and the era’s broader realities through imagery that is tirelessly inventive; by turns political, solemn, playful, humorous, and poetic. The works featured testify to Klee’s restless drive to experiment with form and material. His use of adhesive, grease, oil, chalk, and watercolor, among other media, resulted in surfaces that are not only visually striking, but also highly tactile and original. Not unlike a diary, the drawings are often meditative reflections on the pains and pleasures of life; their titles, among them Monsters in readiness and Struggles with himself, signal Klee’s frame of mind.