Art plays a large role in our lives — from influencing our approach to Modernist design to transforming the spaces that we create. The repertoire of artists whose work hangs in Optima buildings is expansive, from Pablo Picasso to Joan Miro, and today, we’re spotlighting another one of our great featured artists: Paul Klee.
The Life of Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland in 1879 to a German father, inheriting his father’s German citizenship at birth. Klee’s father was a talented music teacher who passed on his knowledge to Klee. By age eleven, Klee’s proficiency at violin was so impressive that he was invited to join the Bern Music Association.
Klee’s creative proficiency extended to the visual arts. And while he pursued music per his parents’ wishes, by his teenage years, a desire to rebel and to seek his true passion led him to studying art.
The Work of Paul Klee
Though Klee kept diaries in his early years that included many caricature drawings, he began art school struggling with color theory and painting. As he continued evolving his style, Klee’s humor heavily influenced his work, which began leaning towards the absurd and sarcastic.
Over the years, Klee’s work has been categorized as Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism and Absurdism. But his unique point of view, which incorporates geometric forms and a raw, childlike quality, set him apart from his peers. Klee taught at the Bauhaus school from 1921-1931, and the termination of his teaching role segued him into his most vivacious period of creation, where he created upwards of 500 works in one year.
From his extensive exploration of color theory to his pioneering and childlike style, Paul Klee is an influential artist whose influence spans far beyond his lifestyle.