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


"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.