376
376

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Paul Klee
SCHATZ ÜBER TAG (TREASURE ABOVE GROUND)
Estimation
120 000180 000
Lot. Vendu 275,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
376

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Paul Klee
SCHATZ ÜBER TAG (TREASURE ABOVE GROUND)
Estimation
120 000180 000
Lot. Vendu 275,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Paul Klee
1879 - 1940
SCHATZ ÜBER TAG (TREASURE ABOVE GROUND)
Signed Klee (upper left); dated 1935, numbered L6 and titled (on the artist's mount)
Watercolor, gouache and brush and ink on paper mounted on card
Sheet: 7 1/8 by 10 7/8 in.; 18.1 by 27.6 cm
Mount: 13 1/2 by 16 7/8 in.; 34.3 by 42.8 cm
Executed in 1935.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

We are grateful to Stefan Frey, Bern, for his kind assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Provenance

Lily Klee, Bern (by  descent from the artist in 1940)
Klee-Gesellschaft, Bern (acquired from the above in 1946)
Hermann & Margit Rupf, Bern (acquired from the above in 1950)
Galerie Rosengrat, Lucerne (acquired in 1953)
Sarah Reed Blodgett, Portland (acquired from the above in 1958)
Thence by descent

Exposition

Portland, Portland Art Museum, The Collection of Sarah Reed Blodgett of Portland: European and American Paintings, Sculptures, Drawings, and Prints, 1965, n.n.

Bibliographie

The Paul Klee Foundation & Museum of Fine Arts, Bern, eds., Paul Klee, Catalogue Raisonné 1934-1938, vol. VII, Bern, 2003, no. 6808, illustrated p. 166

Description

Experimentation with color theory was perhaps the most defining element of Paul Klee’s career. The present work, completed in 1935, is a fine example of the artist's explorations, though it also underscores his increasing concern for line and form. The years of 1933-36, while difficult for Klee who lived as a refugee in Switzerland after being driven out of Germany by the Nazis, gave way to a major transformation in the artist's approach. While his sensibility to tonal harmony remained consistent, the fine rectangular shapes of earlier compositions were replaced by more fluid, organic forms and thicker, stronger lines, as evidenced here. As Andrew Kagan discribes this period in the artist's career: “It signaled an authentic and substantial strengthening of his line, the first real advance in two decades. The heavy-brush-drawn line now exists as a potential new force. To realize that potential, Klee needed to invent new formats and applications. To the extent that he was able to ponder artistic problems during the difficult years 1933-36, what must have most concerned him was how to formulate a new type of linear art to assume the place that color had formerly occupied in his ambitions” (Paul Klee at the Guggenheim Museum (exhibition catalogue), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1993, p. 45).

Treasure Above Ground is a delightful image representing vivid, jewel-like forms divided by broad strokes of ink. As Kagan continues: “Line rules unequivocally in most of Klee’s late approaches, such as…the heavy, dark bars that create jigsaw-like compositions. In many pictures, Klee made explicit the debt of this line to children’s art through the simple, childlike rendering of the subject. Like the drawings of the very young, these treatments are flat; they neither create depth nor suggest volume. The visualization is direct and economical. Again, such borrowings are a source of some of the appeal and universality of Klee’s art, and they enabled him to exploit the raw energy of the child artist… From the Broad, rough line of children’s art he forged an artistic tool of genuine force—a line of stability, assertion, and power—that was one of the most daring and important innovations in painting of 1935-45. It endowed his drawings and paintings with a monumentality they had never known before and with a new level of content, and it formed one of the most venerable features of his rich legacy to later generations of artists” (ibid., pp. 46-47).

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York