Paul Klee. Angels

26 April - 7 July 2013
Hubertus-Wald-Forum

Paul Klee, Daemonie, 1939, 897 (WW 17), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
Paul Klee. Daemonie, 1939, 897, Aquarell, Tempera und Bleistift auf Grundierung auf Papier auf Karton. 20,9 x 32,8 cm. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern


Paul Klee's images of angels are among his most popular works. Angels not only appeal to art lovers but are also cherished by many as poetic helpers in everyday life. As winged hybrids – half man, half heavenly messenger – they represent an intermediate state between worldly and otherworldly existence; this plays to the modern desire for spirituality but at the same time expresses contemporary scepticism towards religion and questions of faith. Most of Klee's 80 or so images of angels were created between 1938 and 1940, in the final years of his life, and are a reflection of his own situation at that time. They indicate how the artist felt as he approached the threshold between life and death, showing fear and a sense of threat, but also intellectual detachment, wit and cheerfulness. Klee's angels often get close to the devil, however: Lucifer, Leviathan, Mephisto and "Chindlifrässer" (child eater) are some of the diabolical figures he places directly beside his angels and sometimes even presents in their guise. The proximity of angels to devils is consistent with Klee's philosophy of a balance of forces that does not define good and evil as opposites but instead represents the relativity of moral values. In this exhibition, which includes around 90 drawings, watercolours, gouaches and paintings, almost all of Klee's angels have been gathered together for the very first time.

The exhibition is supplemented by depictions of angels, from The Middle Ages to the present day, from the extensive collection of the Hamburger Kunsthalle. A look at the visual history of winged beings shows how Paul Klee draws on this source, yet also distances himself from it: his angels have their basis in tradition, but the speak an individual personal language.

Organised in cooperation with the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern.

Kuratorin: Dr. Karin Schick

 

  • Possible by

    eon Hanse
  • Supported by

    Freunde der Kunsthalle e.V.

 

 

  • Paul Klee (1879-1940), Hoher Wächter, 1940
    Paul Klee (1879-1940), Hoher Wächter, 1940
  • Paul Klee, Engel vom Stern, 1939, 1050 (EF 10), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, Engel vom Stern, 1939
  • Paul Klee (1879-1940) Engel, noch weiblich, 1939 1016 Kreide auf Grundierung auf Papier auf Karton, 41,7 x 29,4 cm © Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee (1879-1940), Engel, noch weiblich, 1939 
  • Paul Klee, vergesslicher Engel, 1939, 880 (VV 20), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, vergesslicher Engel, 1939
  • Paul Klee, Schellen-Engel, 1939, 966, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, Schellen-Engel, 1939
  • Paul Klee, Sturz, 1933, 46 (M 6), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, Sturz, 1933
  •  Paul Klee, mehr Vogel, 1939, 939 (YY 19), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, mehr Vogel, 1939
  • Paul Klee, christliches Gespenst, 1939, 1144 (KL 4), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Schenkung Livia Klee
    Paul Klee, christliches Gespenst, 1939
  • Paul Klee, Daemonie, 1939, 897 (WW 17), Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
    Paul Klee, Daemonie, 1939