Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Athlete's Head

Artist:
Paul Klee (German (born Switzerland), Münchenbuchsee 1879–1940 Muralto-Locarno)
Date:
1932
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on paper mounted on cardboard
Dimensions:
24 3/4 x 18 7/8 in. (62.9 x 47.9 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.455.20
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Klee; dated and inscribed on cardboard (lower left): VI 1932.11; (lower right): Athleten-Kopf
the artist (1932–38; on consignment to Galerie Simon [Daniel Henry Kahnweiler], Paris; sent by Kahnweiler in 1938 to Nierendorf); [Karl Nierendorf, New York, 1938–at least 1939]; [J. B. Neumann, New York, until 1940; sale, Plaza Art Galleries, Inc., New York, May 8, 1940, no. 97, as "Head of an Athlete," sold for $145 to Shulman]; Herman Shulman, New York and Stamford, Conn. (1940–at least 1941); [Harold Diamond, New York, until 1974]; Heinz Berggruen, Paris and Berlin (1974–87; his gift to MMA)

New York. Nierendorf Galleries. "Exhibition Paul Klee," October 24–November 12, 1938, no. 56 (as "Head of an Athelete").

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The Sources of Modern Painting. A Loan Exhibition Assembled from American Public and Private Collections," March 2–April 9, 1939, no. 63 (as "Head of an Athlete," lent by the Nierendorf Gallery, New York).

New York. Wildenstein and Co., Inc. "The Sources of Modern Painting. A Loan Exhibition Assembled from American Public and Private Collections by the Institute of Modern Art," April 25–May 20, 1939, no. 43 (as "Head of an Athlete," lent by the Nierendorf Gallery, New York).

New York. Buchholz Gallery (Curt Valentin) and Willard Gallery. "Paul Klee," October 9–November 2, 1940, no. 74 (as "Head of an Athlete [Kopf eines Athleten]," lent by Mr. Herman Shulman, New York).

Northhampton, Mass. Smith College Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," January 7–22, 1941, no catalogue.

Arts Club of Chicago. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," January 31–February 28, 1941, no. 53 (as "Head of an Athlete," lent by Herman Shulman, New York).

Portland, Ore. Portland Art Museum. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," March 10–April 9, 1941, no catalogue.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," April 14–May 5, 1941.

Los Angeles. Stendahl Art Galleries. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," May 8–18, 1941.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," May 24–June 21, 1941, no catalogue.

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Paul Klee," June 30–July 27, 1941, no. 53 (as "Head of an Athlete [Athleten Kopf]," lent by Herman Shulman, New York).

Wellesley, Mass. Wellesley College. "Paul Klee: Memorial Exhibition," October 14–November 2, 1941, no catalogue.

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. 243).

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. 251).

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. 251).

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. 36.

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

Bonn. Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. "Paul Klee im Rheinland: Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Gouachen," March 7–June 9, 2003, no. 75.

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

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Klee: The Late Years," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.

Santander. Fundación Marcelino Botín. "Paul Klee: Colección Berggruen," July 7–September 24, 2006, unnumbered cat. (p. 133).

Rome. Fondazione Memmo. "Paul Klee: La collezione Berggruen," October 11, 2006–January 7, 2007, no. 46.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Late Klee," October 18, 2012–March 31, 2013, no catalogue.

Herbert Read. "Klee: Imagination and Phantasy." XXe siècle 1, no. 4 (Christmas 1938), ill. p. 32.

James S. Plaut. The Sources of Modern Painting. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston, 1939, pp. 70–71, no. 63, ill., notes that this work imitates the technique of ancient mosaics.

"New York Sees Paul Klee Memorial Show." Art Digest 15 (October 15, 1940), p. 12, as "Head of Athlete".

Karl Nierendorf, ed. Paul Klee: Paintings, Watercolors 1913 to 1939. New York, 1941, pl. 38, as "Athlete".

James Smith Pierce. Paul Klee and Primitive Art. PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. New York, 1976, p. 22.

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. 242–43, 287, 318, ill. (color and bw).

Phyllis Williams Lehmann. "A Roman Source for Klee's 'Athlete's Head'." Art Bulletin 72 (December 1990), pp. 639–46, fig. 1, discusses the similarity of this work to the mosaic heads of athletes from the Baths of Caracalla, which Klee most likely saw at the Lateran Palace during his trip to Rome in 1901–2; adds that reproductions of the mosaics were also available in Munich and Düsseldorf libraries; notes that "Klee's use of colored oblongs or squares set in approximately horizontal lines reflects the technique of mosaic tesserae".

Ulrich Bischoff. Paul Klee. Munich, 1992, colorpl. 68.

Michele Dantini. "I Giardini di Orfeo. Paul Klee tra astrazione—paesaggio puro—e caricatura." PhD diss., Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa, 1993–94, p. [98].

Josef Helfenstein and Christian Rümelin, ed. Paul Klee: Catalogue Raisonné. Ed. Paul Klee Foundation, Museum of Fine Arts, Berne. Vol. 6, 1931–1933. New York, 2002, p. 165, no. 5707, ill. and ill. front cover (color), as "Athleten-Kopf (Head of an Athlete)".



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