Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Birds Swooping Down and Arrows

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1919
Medium:
Watercolor and transferred printing ink on gesso on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
9 5/8 × 12 5/8 in. (24.4 × 32.1 cm)
Classifications:
Drawings, Paintings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.14
Not on view
Inscription: Dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1919 201; (lower right): Heinrich Campendonk in Freundschaft/ K.
Heinrich Campendonk, Seeshaupt, Krefeld, Düsseldorf, and Amsterdam (1919–d. 1957; gift of the artist in exchange for Campendonk's watercolor, "Die Barbarazeche"); his daughter, Gerda Bornefeld (1957–d. 1964); her son, Reiner Bornefeld, Bonn, Hennef, and Antibes (1964–77; sale, Hauswedell & Nolte, Hamburg, June 2–4, 1977, no. 774, sold to Berggruen); Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1977–84; his gift to MMA)

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. 94).

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. 97).

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. 97).

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. 10.

Munich. Lenbachhaus. "Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919," November 10, 1993–January 9, 1994, no. 46.

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. 2.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Best," May 24–September 22, 2002, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Abstract," September 5–December 7, 2003, no catalogue.

Santander. Fundación Marcelino Botín. "Paul Klee: Colección Berggruen," July 7–September 24, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 61).

Rome. Fondazione Memmo. "Paul Klee: La collezione Berggruen," October 11, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 10.

Madrid. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. "1914! La vanguardia y la Gran Guerra," October 7, 2008–January 11, 2009, no. 78.

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

Felix Klee. Paul Klee par lui-même et par son fils Felix Klee. Ed. Bernard Gheerbrant. Enl. ed. (1st ed., German, 1960; 2nd ed., English, 1962). Paris, 1963, p. 73 (German ed., p. 141; not in English ed.), as "Avec la flèche de l'air (Mit dem Luftpfeil)".

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. 94–97, 274, 317, ill. (color, overall and detail, bw), states that it was partly copied from a pencil drawing made while Klee was in flight school (1918; private collection, Switzerland; Helfenstein and Rümelin 2000, no. 2057), inspired by "the sight of airplanes constantly flying above him"; notes that it was dedicated to Klee's friend, Heinrich Campendonk, a fellow member of the Blue Rider group.

O[tto]. K. Werckmeister. The Making of Paul Klee's Career, 1914–1920. Chicago, 1989, p. 241, fig. 124, calls it "Descending Birds and Air Arrows"; discusses the arrows as "clarified wartime" memories of airplane crashes.

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

Justin Hoffmann. Süddeutsche Freiheit: Kunst der Revolution in München 1919. Ed. Helmut Friedel. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 1993, pp. 184–85, no. 46, ill. (color), notes that it was a gift to Campendonk in April 1919.

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, p. 127, no. 2265, ill.

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 2, 1913–1918. New York, 2000, p. 527, under no. 2057.

Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Ostfildern, 2012, pp. 107–8, 332, ill. pp. 86 (color detail), 108 (color).

Myriam Weber in Christine Hopfengart and Michael Baumgartner. Paul Klee: Life and Work. Ed. Zentrum Paul Klee. Ostfildern, 2012, p. 149.

Annegret Jürgens-Kirchhoff in Paul Klee: Mythos Fliegen. Ed. Christof Trepesch and Shahab Sangestan. Exh. cat., Kunstsammlungen und Museen Augsburg. Berlin, 2013, p. 26, fig. 4 (color).



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