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Klee: Colour Library (Phaidon Colour Library) Paperback – August 12, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
Hall has read and thought about everything the painter ever wrote, and he quotes from the diaries in his text. Klee fought in World War One. He had begun his working life as a draughtsman, but soon moved toward finer "art." His early doubts about himself as well as his eventually confident assertions are here. The result is a clear picture of Klee the man and the artist - as well as a feel for his artistic and deeply thought-out process - over the years of his too-brief life. (He died at 61, in 1940.)
Hall discusses Klee's significant contributions to theories of color, composition, the relationship of music to visual art; edges, textures, the use of the frame; !abstraction and symbolism. Klee's participation in the Bauhaus at Weimar (closed by the Nazis in 1931) is detailed. He was fired from his teaching job at the Dusseldorf Academy in 1933. The Fascist persecution of modern artists began and Klee and his wife left Germany to return to the safety of their native Switzerland.
The plates' color is good and best of all, many of the paintings in this book are in private collections, so you're seeing some things you won't ever find in museums. Some of the plates show only a detail of the full painting, with the full painting reproduced in black and white, opposite. This is occasionally frustrating.
Finally, Klee's well-known late paintings : boldly colorful, starkly minimal and emotionally expressive - each about his own imminent death - are included with trenchant and sympathetic commentary. There is an Outline Biography, a Select Bibliography, and 48 color plates spanning Klee's entire painting life.
A great book.
Phaidon's book falls square in the middle of your standard KLee photo - biographies. A quick concise all inclusive no frills biography opens. Followed by 48 large color plates with detailed descriptions. Therein you pick up some more Klee facts along the way.
pluses (+) : a no where else seen photo of his wife Lily.
minuses (-) : The editor picked too many dark canvases. Not allowing us to appreciate Klee's color explorations. With only 48 plates its a fast moving art book.
Please see our other KLee reviews.