Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Classical Grotesque

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1923
Medium:
Watercolor and transferred printing ink on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
10 7/8 × 13 1/8 in. (27.6 × 33.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.315.37
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): 1923 149 I; (lower right): Klassische Groteske
F. W. Brass, Hagen (1925–27/28; sold in 1927/28 to Städtische Galerie); Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt (1927/28–1937; confiscated on August 25, 1937 as "degenerate art" by the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Berlin; sold, by exchange, on June 14, 1939 to Fohn); Emanuel and Sofie Fohn, Rome and Bolzano, Italy (1939–57; sale, Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Roman Norbert Ketterer, Stuttgart, May 28–29, 1957, no. 463, sold to Berggruen); [Berggruen & Cie, Paris, 1957]; Robert Hendrickx, Brussels (from 1957); Mr. and Mrs. John L. Strauss, Chicago (in 1962); [B. C. Holland Gallery, Inc., Chicago, in half share with Grace Hokin, Chicago and Palm Beach, until 1973; sold in 1973 to Berggruen]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1973–84; his gift to MMA)

Munich. Hans Goltz. "Paul Klee: 2. Gesamtausstellung 1920/1925," May–June 1925, no. 104.

Kunsthalle Bern. "Ausstellung [Der grosse Bär, Paul Klee, Paul Eichenberger, Dora Lauterburg, G. Lüscher, Robert Schmitz]," November 8–29, 1925, no. 95 (as for sale, SFr 350).

Frankfurt. Städelsche Kunstinstitut. "Vom Abbild zum Sinnbild: Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Moderner Malerei," June 3–July 3, 1931, no. 349.

Arts Club of Chicago. "Paul Klee. Works from Chicago Collections," January 16–February 20, 1962, no. 28 (as "Classic Grotesque," 1928, lent by Mr. and Mrs. John L. Strauss).

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. 182).

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. 189).

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. 189).

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. 42.

Haus der Kunst München. "Elan vital oder Das Auge des Eros," May 20–August 14, 1994, no. 334.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: Figures and Faces," August 23–November 16, 1997, no catalogue.

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. 27.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee's Line," March 18–July 9, 2000, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee Figures," October 5, 2001–March 10, 2002, no catalogue.

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. "Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit," March 27–June 9, 2003, no. 33.

Haus der Kunst München. "Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit," June 27–September 14, 2003, no. 33.

New York. Neue Galerie. "Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art, 1870–1940," October 15, 2004–February 14, 2005, no. 29.

Will Grohmann. "Paul Klee 1923/24." Der Cicerone 16, no. 17 (1924), p. 792, ill. p. 790.

Hans-Friedrich Geist. Paul Klee. Hamburg, 1948, p. 30.

Annegret Janda. "Paul Klee und die Nationalgalerie 1919–1937." Paul Klee. Vorträge der wissenschaftlichen Konferenz in Dresden, 19. und 20. Dezember 1984. Berlin, 1986, p. 51, states that in June 1939, Emanuel Fohn exchanged drawings by various Romantic artists from his collection, worth RM 6,330, for 137 paintings and watercolors, including this picture, and 87 prints that had been confiscated by the Reich Ministry [see Andreas Hüneke in "'Degenerate Art': The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany," Los Angeles, 1991, p. 133 n. 44].

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. 182–83, 282, 318, ill. (color and bw).

Hans-Michael Herzog in Die Sammlung Sofie und Emanuel Fohn: Eine Dokumentation. Ed. Carla Schulz–Hoffmann. Munich, 1990, p. 176, no. 53, lists this work with the 1939 exchange price of RM 100.

Ulrich Bischoff. Paul Klee. Munich, 1992, pp. 39, 63–64, 172–73, colorpl. 26.

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 4, 1923–1926. New York, 2000, p. 111, no. 3243, ill.

Christine Hopfengart. "Klee an den deutschen 'Museen der Gegenwart', 1916–1933." Paul Klee: Kunst und Karriere. Beiträge des Internationalen Symposiums in Bern. Ed. Oskar Bätschmann and Josef Helfenstein. Bern, 2000, p. 90, states that F. W. Brass sold this picture to the Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt in 1927/28.

Pamela Kort in Grotesk! 130 Jahre Kunst der Frechheit. Ed. Pamela Kort. Exh. cat., Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. Munich, 2003, pp. 20, 289, no. 33, ill. p. 60 (color).

Pamela Kort in Comic Grotesque: Wit and Mockery in German Art, 1870–1940. Ed. Pamela Kort. Exh. cat., Neue Galerie. New York, 2004, pp. 23, 218, no. 29, ill. p. 69 (color).



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