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Paul Klee

/Works and biography

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Magic Garden (Zaubergarten), March 1926
Oil on plaster-filled wire mesh,
52.9 x 44.9 cm, including artist’s frame
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 90


In 1926 Paul Klee resumed teaching at the Bauhaus at its new location in Dessau. During his Bauhaus period he articulated and taught a complex theoretical program that was supported and clarified by his painting and drawing. Theory, in turn, served to elucidate his art. Based on probing investigation and carefully recorded observation, his work in both areas reveals analogies among the properties of natural, of man-made, and of geometric forms. Studies of plants illustrating growth processes appear often in Klee’s notebooks as well as in his paintings and drawings. He was also interested in architecture and combined images of buildings with vegetal forms in several other works of 1926. The surface Klee creates with the medium of Magic Garden resembles that of a primordial substance worn and textured by its own history. A cosmic eruption seems to have spewed forth forms that are morphologically related but differentiated into various genera. Although excused from the laws of gravity, each of these forms occupies a designated place in a new universe, simultaneously as fixed and mobile as the orbits of planets or the nuclei of organic cells.

credits: Hangar Design Group