'In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Klee devoted much of his time to strictly geometrical constructions. At the same time, as a relief from such purely rational labor, he produced a series of dreamlike, calligraphic, and labyrinthine line compositions distinguished by their mysterious subjective features' (O. Okuda, in Klee and America (exhibition catalogue), Neue Galerie, New York, 2006, p. 179). The present painting combines these two approaches – the central feature is composed of a linear shape or diagram, derived from Klee's constructions on paper which he called 'kinetic variations'. The irregular geometric shape is seen here three times, painted in different sizes and orientations, and overlapping. Although it originated in Klee's mathematical and spatial studies, the resulting image evokes an animal-like biomorphic figure.
The first owner of this work was Galka Scheyer, a collector and dealer whose primary interest was in 'The Blue Four': Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee and Feininger. In 1924 she moved from Germany to New York, and later settled in California. In America, particularly California, she befriended a number of collectors and museum curators, and energetically promoted the four artists, organising group and solo exhibitions, and giving lectures on their work. P Vierzehn was included in several exhibitions organised by Galka Scheyer and held in various California museums and galleries throughout the 1930s. It was mainly through her activities, as well as those of the dealer Curt Valentin, that works by Klee were introduced to American collections.
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