Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Falling Bird

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1919
Medium:
Watercolor, transferred printing ink, and ink on paper, bordered with ink, mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
9 1/4 × 10 5/8 in. (23.5 × 27 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.208.4
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 206.1919 Abstürzender Vogel
[Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz, Munich]; [César de Hauke, Paris]; [Galerie Europe, Paris, until 1970]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1970–84; his gift to MMA)

Munich. Galerie Neue Kunst Hans Goltz. "Paul Klee," May–June 1920, no. 230 (as for sale) [catalogue published in "Der Ararat" 2, May–June 1920, p. 23].

Jena, Germany. Kunst-Verein zu Jena. "Paul Klee," July 11–August 1, 1920, no. 26.

Berlin. Landesausstellngsgebäude am Lehrter Bahnhof. "Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung," May 14–end September 1921, no. 928 (as for sale).

Munich. Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. "Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1883–1922," December 12, 1979–March 2, 1980, no. 403 (lent by a private collection, Switzerland).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 6–July 31, 1988, unnumbered cat. (p. 98).

Kunsthalle Tübingen. "Paul Klee: Die Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York und im Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," January 22–April 16, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 99).

London. Tate Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Berggruen Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris," May 17–August 13, 1989, unnumbered cat. (p. 99).

Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo. "Paul Klee: Selección de sesenta obras. The Berggruen Klee Collection. The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1989–January 1990, no. 11.

Munich. Lenbachhaus. "Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919," November 10, 1993–January 9, 1994, no. 47.

Düsseldorf. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. "Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung," January 21–April 17, 1995, no. 79.

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. "Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung," April 29–July 23, 1995, no. 79.

Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. Sammlung Berggruen. "Klee aus New York: Hauptwerke der Sammlung Berggruen im Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 4–October 18, 1998, no. 3.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Creatures," December 12, 2003–March 14, 2004, no catalogue.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Das Universum Klee / The Klee Universe," October 31, 2008–February 8, 2009, unnumbered cat. (p. 307; as "Abstürzender Vogel [Crashing Bird]").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: Path to Abstraction," April 9–August 4, 2013, no catalogue.

Léopold Zahn. Paul Klee. Leben/ Werk/ Geist. Potsdam, 1920, ill. p. 73.

Will Grohmann. "Paul Klee und die Tradition." Bauhaus no. 3 (December 1931), p. [4].

Ejler Bille. Picasso, Surrealisme, abstrakt Kunst. [Copenhagen], 1945, ill. p. 144.

Will Grohmann. Paul Klee. New York, [1954], p. 150.

Margaret R. Polson. "Paul Klee: A Study in Visual Language." PhD diss., University of North Carolina, 1974, pp. 118–19.

Mark Lawrence Rosenthal. "Paul Klee and the Arrow." PhD diss., University of Iowa, 1979, p. 43, fig. 42, calls it "Crashing Bird"; discusses it among Klee's 1918–19 pictures of birds "plunging toward the earth, occasionally accompanied by an arrow," and relates them to his wartime witnessing of airplane crashes.

Magdalena Droste in Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1883–1922. Ed. Armin Zweite. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 1979, p. 498, no. 403, ill.

Mark Rosenthal. "The Myth of Flight in the Art of Paul Klee." Arts Magazine 55 (September 1980), p. 94, fig. 11, calls it "Crashing Bird".

Sabine Rewald. Paul Klee: The Berggruen Klee Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1988, pp. 98–99, 274, 317, ill. (color and bw), notes that the bird in this picture is copied from the 1919 drawing "Falling and Gliding Bird" (present location unknown; Helfenstein and Rümelin 1999, no. 2271); suggests that the unlucky number 13 refers to Klee's job painting numbers on airplanes during flight school.

O[tto]. K. Werckmeister. The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914–1920. Chicago, 1989, p. 311 n. 65.

Robin Stemp. "Artist as Transmitter." Artist (September 1989), p. 17.

Regine Prange. Das Kristalline als Kunstsymbol—Bruno Taut und Paul Klee. Zur Reflexion des Abstrakten in Kunst und Kunsttheorie der Moderne. Hildesheim, 1991, p. 304.

Martina Kern in Paul Klee in Gersthofen. Zeichnungen und Aquarelle von Paul Klee. Exh. cat., Paul-Klee-Gymnasium Gersthofen. Gersthofen, 1992, p. 57.

Justin Hoffmann. Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919. Ed. Helmut Friedel. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 1993, p. 185, no. 47, ill. (color).

Rintaro Terakado in Paul Klee Retrospective. Ed. Rintaro Terakado et al. Exh. cat., Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art. Aichi, 1993, p. 364.

Wolfgang Kersten and Osamu Okuda. Paul Klee. Im Zeichen der Teilung. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf, 1995, pp. 69, 374, 384, no. 79, ill. p. 141 (color).

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 3, 1919–1922. New York, 1999, pp. 128–29, no. 2270, ill., as "Abstürzender Vogel (Crashing Bird)".

Christina Thomson in The Klee Universe. Ed. Dieter Scholz and Christina Thomson. Exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin. Ostfildern, 2008, pp. 299, 353, ill. pp. 307 (color), 353.

Annegret Jürgens-Kirchhoff in Paul Klee: Mythos Fliegen. Ed. Christof Trepesch and Shahab Sangestan. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg. Berlin, 2013, p. 27, fig. 6 (color).



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