Day 5 Fisches and birds / Paul Klee 1926
Yesterday I visited the Paul Klee exhibit at the McMullen Museum, Boston College. I was impressed by how much of a theorist Klee was with his Bauhaus teachings and prolific diary entries. Sometimes these shows can seem dated and that's how I felt at first with this one. It was presented academically, which stole some of the thunder in experiencing the artwork, with labels requiring too many paragraphs to provide context. It becomes meaningful, however, when you place him within the historical context of the early 20th century and recognize how his philosophies created a framework for contemporary art.
One thing that repeatedly strikes me is how similar the struggles are with artists across all time periods. With Klee, one of his interests was the abstraction of nature and not the accurate representation of the physical elements. "Not the skin of things... Nature naturing". Believing that humans were part of this nature his artworks also represented themes of fear, dissonance, and towards the end of his life, physical disability and mortality.
Another subject of his that keeps bopping around in my head is one where he talks about individual vs. dividual. First, I learned a new word: di-vid-u-al 1. divisible or divided 2. separate; dinstinct 3. distributed; shared. For instance, scales on a fish are dividual, distinct elements of the whole fish. The fish, however, is in-di-vid-u-al: 1. not divisible 2. a group considered as a unit. The scales can exist on their own. The fish cannot exist without the scales, or it's head or fins for that matter either.
I definitely can identify with this, especially when you combine it with his feeling that art should be "imbibed by and impregnated with evidence of the process". In my case, the meditative process and incremental building of units into larger wholes to express the intangible.
Well, I'm off to sit with my random, unorganized thoughts. Thoughts about human nature, process, social engagement, design and the transcendence of making - all topics that I look forward to have bopping around in my head for quite some time.