Paul Klee, When the World Went Dark

Paul Klee, “Ohne Titel (Gitter und Schlangenlinien um “T”) (Untitled [Grids and Wavy Lines Around “T”])” (c.1939) (© Klee Family, photo by Kerry McFate, all images courtesy David Zwirner)

LONDON — Can we ever really — I mean really — know Paul Klee? Or is battling with the idea of Klee somewhat akin to wrestling with a particularly slippery (albeit child-friendly) snake? He seems to pop straight back out of any and every pigeonhole into which we might try to thrust him. He could do them all, and they all sought to claim him as one of their own at one time or another: Dada, Surrealism, Cubism, and almost any other 20th-century ism. (Academicism was less to his taste.)

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