Saturday, January 2, 2010

Paul Klee Center in Bern

Gavin and I went up to Bern this afternoon, to see the (relatively) new Paul Klee Zentrum. It was completed in 2006, and houses a huge collection of Paul Klee's works left by the heirs of his estate. The building itself is quite a work of art:

The center has an excellent website which gives a brief history of the artist, the story of the building of the museum, and overviews of the current exhibits including a thumbnail of each artwork on display. Gavin and I saw the «Paul Klee. Life, Work and Responses» exhibition, which was excellent. So wonderful to see (finally) the originals of so many works I'd admired in books during my art studies!

Even Gavin was rather interested in some of the art.
I found him in an area watching the delightful animated video Taking a Line for a Walk: A Homage to the Work of Paul Klee (1983), which otherwise I'd have completely missed. Unfortunately, I'm not able to find anything out on-line (yet) about this wonderful work, done by a U.K. team.

Such colors, lines and shapes in Klee's paintings! They made me want to break out my paints, pastels, brushes, and the rest of my art materials
immediately. To my surprise, he also created more than 50 hand puppets - the first ones were made for his young son, then he kept on creating them. Several were in the exhibit. They were both very charming and crudely made: papier-mache heads, painted, with simple textile clothing. Another inspiration to create.

The museum owns so much Klee artwork, and it is all so fragile, that they only display a tiny fraction of the collection for 6 months at a time. This means that there is always something new to see. I know I'll be back soon.

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