Paul Klee A line is a dot that went for a walk

Source: Paul KleeYear: 1920-1958Text: Mariabruna Fabrizi
Date: March 1, 2023 Category: Art, Things

Paul Klee - Garden of Orpheus (1958)

In the multiple explorations of form and composition by German-Swiss artist Paul Klee, a special place is occupied by works where the line is the main protagonist. In a famous quote, the artist describes the line as “a dot that went for a walk” underlining the dynamic nature of the line as the means to conduct the human eye across the space of a painting or a drawing. In the second volume of the collection of his Bauhaus lessons Infinite natural history (Band 2: Unendliche Naturgeschichte, first published in 1946) Klee addresses the analogy of pictorial form with natural processes, introducing how lines in a composition are submitted to specific logic of growth and progression. He further compares the organisational systems of plants to the linear organisations in a drawing.

Some of the linear works by Klee evoke imaginary cities or landscapes and float in between abstraction and figuration with the urban monuments, the skylines, the streets or the territorial elements reduced to patterns or serial geometries. The repetitions are never mechanical and imply continuous variations in the evolution of the lines, like natural elements perennially in motion, connecting among each other, addressing tensions and converging into specific points.

Paul Klee - Death of an Idea (1915)

Paul Klee - Hope and Destruction (1916)

Paul Klee - Riesenblattlaus (1920)

Paul Klee - Drawing Knotted in the Manner of a Net (1920)

Paul Klee - Queen of Hearts (1921)

Paul Klee - The tight rope walker (1923)

Paul Klee - Rock Cut Temple (1925)

Paul Klee - A page from the Book of Towns (1928)

Paul Klee - Botanical Garden Palmate Plants (1946)

Paul Klee - Architectural Review v.120 n.716 Sep 1956, 147

Paul Klee - Garden of Orpheus (1958)

Paul Klee - Beride City on the Water (1958)

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