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Like many of his Bauhaus contemporaries, Paul Klee (1879-1940) was deeply influenced by theater and the stage. Throughout his life Klee attended theatrical performances, from the opera to puppet shows, with an almost fanatical zeal, and characters from plays or opera--Hamlet, Falstaff and Don Giovanni, for example--populate his enigmatic visual world....
Like many of his Bauhaus contemporaries, Paul Klee (1879-1940) was deeply influenced by theater and the stage. Throughout his life Klee attended theatrical performances, from the opera to puppet shows, with an almost fanatical zeal, and characters from plays or opera--Hamlet, Falstaff and Don Giovanni, for example--populate his enigmatic visual world. Various types of character roles and theatrical elements, like clowns and masks, were firmly established themes in his repertoire, and as last year's delightful Paul Klee: Hand Puppets showed, he also delighted in puppetry, making bizarre bricolaged puppets out of household materials to amuse his son Felix. Primarily, though, Klee understood the sympathies between theater and life, absorbing the topos of the world as a stage into his observations: People became actors or marionettes and theatrical events touched upon scenes from everyday life. This publication sheds light on all of these aspects of Klee's fascination with the arts of the stage. A chronology gives a panoramic outline of his several encounters with the theater and a selection of works by contemporary artists makes it clear that Klee was not the only artist to be fascinated with the sharp-eyed perception of theatrical scenarios--the topic is one that continues to engage artists today.
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