Signed Klee (upper left) and indistinctly inscribed (top center); dated 1924 25 and titled Gegensätze abends on the artist's mount
Richard Doetsch-Benziger, Basel (by 1958)
Nachlass Richard Doetsch-Benziger, Basel (until 1971)
Galerie Liatowitsch, Basel
Galerie Beyeler, Basel (by 1971-72)
Acquired from the above by the late owner
Munich, Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Paul Klee. Zweite Gesamtausstellung 1920-1925, 1925, no. 132
Kunsthalle Basel, Moderne deutsche Malerei aus Privatbesitz, 1933, no. 90
Kunsthalle Basel, Gedächtnisausstellung Paul Klee, 1941, no. 188
Basel, Galerie d'Art Moderne, Paul Klee. Tafelbilder und Aquarelle aus Privatbesitz, 1949, no. 16
Kunsthalle Basel, Paul Klee, 1879-1940. Ausstellung aus Schweizer Privatsammlungen, 1950, no. 35
Kunsthalle Basel, Malerei, Zeichnung und Plastik des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, 1956, no. 162, illustrated
Margit Bosshard-Rebmann, Paul Klee, Basel, 1953, no. 37
Jürg Spiller, Paul Klee. Unendliche Naturgeschichte. Prinzipielle Ordnung der bildnerischen Mittel verbunden mit Naturstudium, und konstruktive Kompositionswege. Form- und Gestaltungslehre, Basel & Stuttgart, 1970, illustrated
Carola Müller, Das Zeichen in Bild und Theorie bei Paul Klee, Ph.D Dissertation, Technische Universität München, 1979, S. 89, illustrated
Mark Rosenthal, "Deciphering Klee", Portfolio, ed. 1, no. 5, December-January 1979-1980, S. 171, illustrated
Wolfgang Kersten, Osamu Okuda, Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung, Düsseldorf & Stuttgart, 1995, illustrated, S. 351
Paul Klee Stiftung (ed.) Paul Klee Catalogue Raisonné 1923-1926, vol. IV, Bern, 2001, no. 3393, illustrated p. 162 (as measuring 23 by 36.5 cm)
Klee painted the present work at the height of his involvement with the Bauhaus in Weimar. Since being invited by Walter Gropius to become a member of the faculty in 1921, Klee soon became one of the most influental members of the group, lecturing on topics of color and form and his own, new artistic vocabulary. His tenure there lasted until 1931, two years before he was forced to flee Switzerland as a result of Hitler's ascent to power. During Klee's experience at the Bauhaus he created some of the most successful and intellectually complex works of his career. He was an active member of a collective that included some of the most significant artists of his day, ranging from Kandinsky to Josef Albers. During these years, Klee readily embraced abstraction and developed a pictorial language that provided one of the most distinctive voices in Modern art.
The year after he had joined the Bauhaus, Klee wrote a "Creative Credo" with theoretical assertions that resonate in his oeuvre. As in the present work, Klee rejected common concepts of reality in favor of a metaphysical approach to perception. He wrote, "Formerly we used to represent things visible on earth, things we either liked to look at or would have liked to see. Today we reveal the reality that is behind visible things, thus expressing the belief that the visible world is merely an isolated case in relation to the universe and that there are many other, latent realities. Things appear to assume a broader and more diversified meaning, often seemingly contradicting the rational experience of yesterday. There is a striving to emphasize the essential character of the accidental" (Paul Klee, "The Creative Credo," printed in Paul Klee, Watercolors, Drawings, Writings, Cologne, 1969, p. 8).
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