Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Static-Dynamic Gradation

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1923
Medium:
Oil and gouache on paper bordered with gouache, watercolor, and ink, mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
17 1/8 × 11 1/2 in. (43.5 × 29.2 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.455.12
Not on view
"To paint well means only this: to put the right colors in the right spot." Klee offered this aphorism to his students at the Bauhaus, a renowned design school that operated in various German cities between the First and Second World Wars. Klee taught at the Bauhaus for over a decade, first in Weimar (1919–25), then Dessau (1925–32). Static Dynamic Gradation is one of several works the artist created in conjunction with his courses. This watercolor reflects Klee’s preoccupation with color relationships as governed by the abstract form of the grid.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (center): 1923 /// 67 Statisch-Dynamische Steigerung
Ida Bienert, Dresden and Munich (by 1933–d. 1965; sold by her heirs to Galerie Nathan); [Galerie Nathan, Zurich, until 1976; sold in 1976 to Berggruen]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1976–87; his gift to MMA)

Kunstmuseum Bern. "Paul Klee: Leben und Werk," September 25, 1987–January 3, 1988, no. 129 (as "Farbsteigerung vom Statischen ins Dynamische").

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. 172).

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. 177).

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. 177).

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. 38.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee at the Bauhaus," April 18–August 17, 1997, no catalogue.

London. Hayward Gallery. "Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation," January 17–April 1, 2002, no. 35.

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 the Voyager," February 4–May 4, 2003, no catalogue.

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

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: His Years at the Bauhaus (1921–1931)," November 19, 2004–April 3, 2005, no catalogue.

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. "Visual Music," February 13–May 22, 2005, unnumbered cat. (p. 56).

Bauhaus-Museum Weimar. "Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar," April 1–July 5, 2009, no. 8.080.

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

London. Tate Modern. "The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible," October 16, 2013–March 9, 2014, unnumbered cat. (p. 106).

Will Grohmann. Die Sammlung Ida Bienert, Dresden. Potsdam, 1933, p. 21.

Will Grohmann. Paul Klee. New York, [1954], pp. 213, 216, 414, no. 184, ill. p. 395, cat. 86, calls it "Intensification of Color from the Static to the Dynamic" and locates it in a private collection, Berlin.

Jürg Spiller, ed. Paul Klee: The Thinking Eye. The Notebooks of Paul Klee. New York, 1961, p. 519 [German ed., Basel, 1956].

Norio Awazu. Klee/ Kandinsky. [Tokyo], 1968, p. 100, colorpl. 13.

Max Huggler. Paul Klee. Die Malerei als Blick in den Kosmos. Frauenfeld, 1969, p. 65.

Nello Ponente. Klee: Biographical and Critical Study. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1960). Geneva, 1972, pp. 73, 140, ill. p. 68 (color), calls it "Intensification of Color from the Static to the Dynamic" and locates it in a private collection, Berlin.

Christian Geelhaar. Paul Klee and the Bauhaus. Bath, 1973, p. 48, calls it "Intensification of Colour from the Static to the Dynamic".

Jürgen Glaesemer. Paul Klee. Die farbigen Werke im Kunstmuseum Bern: Gemälde, farbige Blätter, Hinterglasbilder und Plastiken. Bern, 1976, p. 180.

Andrew Kagan. "Paul Klee's 'Ad Parnassum': The Theory and Practice of Eighteenth-Century Polyphony as Models for Klee's Art." Arts Magazine 52 (September 1977), p. 103 n. 15, as "Farbsteigerung vom Statischen ins Dynamische (Progression of Color from the Static to the Dynamic)," in a private collection, Berlin.

Eva-Maria Triska in Paul Klee. Das Werk der Jahre 1919–1933: Gemälde, Handzeichnungen, Druckgraphik. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Köln. Cologne, 1979, pp. 65–66, ill. (color).

Marianne L. Teuber in Paul Klee: Das Frühwerk 1882–1922. Exh. cat., Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus. Munich, 1979, pp. 284, 296 n. 81, calls it "Farbsteigerung vom Statischen ins Dynamische" and locates it in a private collection, Berlin.

Eva-Maria Triska. "Die Quadratbilder Paul Klees—ein Beitrag zur Analyse formaler Ausdrucksmittel in seinem Werk und seiner Theorie. Mit einem Exkurs zur Ableitung von Klees Farbenlehre." PhD diss., Universität Wien, 1980, pp. 26–27, 103–5, pl. 27.

Andrew Kagan. Paul Klee/ Art & Music. Ithaca, 1983, p. 67, calls it "Intensification of Color from the Static to the Dynamic".

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. 172–75, 281, 318, ill. (color, overall and detail, and bw), notes that in his oeuvre catalogue, Klee recorded this picture as "Farbsteigerung vom Statischen ins Dynamische" or "Color Gradation from the Static to the Dynamic".

Robert and Leda Natkin. "Exhibition Reviews: Paul Klee." Modern Painters 2 (Summer 1989), p. 99.

Phyllis Williams Lehmann. "A Roman Source for Klee's 'Athlete's Head'." Art Bulletin 72 (December 1990), p. 646 n. 39.

Sigrid Albert. "Das Bild und sein Schatten. Eine Untersuchung der Beziehung von Bild und Titel bei Paul Klee im besonderen Hinblick auf die Rezeption." Cahiers d'études germaniques no. 19 (1990), pp. 67, 71, colorpl. IV.

Heike Biedermann. "Ida Bienert in München 1945–1965." Dresdener Kunstblätter 41, no. 6 (1997), p. 200 n. 25.

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. 59, no. 3160, ill., as "Statisch-Dynamische Steigerung (Static-Dynamic Intensification)".

Robert Kudielka in Paul Klee: The Nature of Creation, Works 1914–1940. Exh. cat., Hayward Gallery. London, 2002, pp. 31–32, 34, 84–85, 197, no. 35, ill. p. 41 (color).

Richard Verdi. "London: Paul Klee." Burlington Magazine 144 (April 2002), p. 250, fig. 45 (color).

Christian Rümelin. "Exhibition Reviews: Paul Klee at the Hayward." Apollo 156 (October 2002), p. 46, fig. 1 (color).

Judith Zilczer in Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900. Exh. cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, 2005, pp. 55–56, 231, ill. (color).

Heike Biedermann, Andreas Dehmer, and Mathias Wagner in Von Monet bis Mondrian: Meisterwerke der Moderne aus Dresdner Privatsammlungen der ersten Hälfte des 20.Jahrhunderts. Exh. cat., Palais Brühlsche Terrasse. Zeitgenössische Kunst, Dresden. Munich, 2006, fig. 74 (installation photo, Ida Bienert's home).

Gerda Wendermann in Das Bauhaus kommt aus Weimar. Ed. Ute Ackermann and Ulrike Bestgen. Exh. cat., Bauhaus-Museum, Weimar. Berlin, 2009, pp. 193, 363, no. 8.080, colorpl. 382.

Heike Biedermann. "Avantgarde als Lebensgefühl: Die Sammlerin Ida Bienert." Kunstsammlerinnen: Peggy Guggenheim bis Ingvild Goetz. Ed. Dorothee Wimmer et al. Berlin, 2009, p. 107.

Annie Bourneuf. "A Refuge for Script: Paul Klee's 'Square Pictures'." Bauhaus Construct: Fashioning Identity, Discourse and Modernism. Ed. Jeffrey Saletnik and Robin Schuldenfrei. London, 2009, p. 121 n. 21.

Matthew Gale in The EY Exhibition—Paul Klee: Making Visible. Exh. cat., Tate Modern. London, 2013, pp. 104–6, 247, ill. (color).



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