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Paul Klee

“The more horrible this world (as today, for instance), the more abstract our art, whereas a happy world brings forth an art of the here and now”.

Paul Klee, 1915.

The exhibition Paul Klee, organized by Centro Cultural la Moneda in conjunction with Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, will not only exhibit his facet as an artist, but also the most human and intimate side of one of the most important references in early modern art in the first half of the 20th century.

With 107 artworks, the exhibition presents drawings, paintings, watercolours, puppets, photographs, documents and tools from Paul Klee’s workshop, revealing new and unknown aspects of the personality and work of the artist who experienced historical contexts such as the First World War, the rise of Nazism and censorship.

This exhibition is the result of the curatorial research of Fabienne Eggelhöfer, chief curator and director of Collection, Exhibitions and Research at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, who investigated writings, testimonies, personal stories and various sources of information to generate a proposal that not only addresses Klee’s artistic career, but also his most human and intimate side.

The exhibition unfolds in eight sections: Childhood, Nature, 1933, Abstraction, Theatre, Bauhaus, Angels and Reduction.

About Paul Klee (1879-1940)

Paul Klee (1879-1940) is one of the most significant modern artists. Born and raised in the Swiss capital of Bern, he decided early on to move to Munich, one of the most important artistic centres of the time. It was there that he met not only his future wife, the pianist Lily Stumpf, but also made the acquaintance of the protagonists of the German avant-garde. Wassily Kandinsky introduced him to Franz Marc and the artists of the Blue Rider among others, thereby ushering him into the progressive art scene.

Before his famous journey to Tunisia, which he undertook with Louis Moilliet and August Macke in the spring of 1914, Klee was a highly accomplished draftsman. Although he had developed an individual pictorial language independent of nature, which he had studied intensively in his youth, he did not yet consider himself a painter. Klee developed confidence in handling light and color while painting small-scale watercolors in Tunisia.

During the First World War, he was drafted and served in the army from 1916 to 1918; Klee’s father was a German citizen and Klee therefore held a German passport as well. Nevertheless, he continued to develop his work during this period, so much so that he became one of the most sought after artists. Hence, in 1921 he was appointed professor at the newly founded school of design Bauhaus in Weimar, which later relocated to Dessau.

Klee’s Bauhaus period is characterized by constructivist drawings as well as works in which he explored color relationships. As during his whole career, Klee made at the same time figurative works, many dedicated to themes such as theater and dance. However, his teaching load became a burden that left him with what he thought was too little time for his own work. In 1931, he accepted an offer from the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, where he had more freedom in terms of lesson planning.

About the curator

Fabienne Eggelhöefer | In 2017 has been appointed chief curator and head of collection, exhibitions and research at the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, where she had served as curator for modern and contemporary art since 2007. In 2012 she completed a research project on Paul Klee’s teaching at the Bauhaus that culminated in an online database of Klee’s teaching notes and an exhibition. In addition, she also analyzed the meaning of nature in Klee’s teaching in a dissertation leading to a PhD degree.

The focus of her research lies on one hand in exploring different contextual aspects that enabled Paul Klee to develop his own artistic language such as the exchange with artists from other art movements (Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Constructivism), or his study of non-academic art. On the other hand she focuses her interest on the continuities and discontinuities in 20th century art by analyzing the exchange and interaction of ideas around the world.

The Zentrum Paul Klee granted her a curatorial leave in 2015 and 2016 in order to research the impact of Paul Klee on the US-American artists of the mid-20th century which culminated in the exhibition Ten Americans: After Paul Klee. In 2021 she presented her research of Paul Klee’s non-academical sources such as children’s drawings, art brut, non-European and prehistoric art in the exhibition Paul Klee. Ich will nichts wissen (I Want To Know Nothing).

In addition to numerous Klee exhibitions which she is curating at the Zentrum Paul Klee and abroad, she realizes a variety of exhibitions with 20th century artists such as Lee Krasner, Gabriele Münter, Isamu Noguchi, Max Bill, Henry Moore etc.

About Zentrum Paul Klee

The Zentrum Paul Klee, designed by world famous architect Renzo Piano, opened its doors in 2005 in Bern, capital of Switzerland. With around 4’000 works at its disposal the Zentrum Paul Klee has the most significant collection of paintings, watercolors and drawings world-wide and includes archive and biographical material from all the periods of Paul Klee’s work and life. Selections from this extraordinary collection are presented in changing exhibitions.

The principal task of the Zentrum Paul Klee is to ensure that the artistic, pedagogic, and theoretical work of Paul Klee, as well as its significance within the cultural and social context of today, is scientifically developed and communicated through different channels and media. By posing topical questions, new scientific interpretations, and innovative forms of communication, the Zentrum Paul Klee aims to bring Paul Klee’s artistic potential into the present and into the world.

With respect to Paul Klee’s manifold artistic activities, the museum does not only limit itself to the presentation of Klee’s pictorial works but also serves as a platform for interdisciplinary forms of artistic expression. In addition to exhibition spaces, the Zentrum includes a concert hall, a lecture hall, workshop spaces, and the Children’s Museum Creaviva.

The Zentrum Paul Klee features two exhibitions halls, 800 and 1600 square meters respectively, which will host the proposed exhibition. In past years, the museum has organized a variety of temporary exhibitions, from permanent collection displays to monographic exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists, as well as group shows. Based on its collection and archive, the Zentrum Paul Klee has also organized numerous Klee-shows in co-operation with other museums, such as with the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate in London, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and now with the Centro Cultural Palacio La Moneda in Santiago de Chile.


April 12 to July 31 | 2022
Tuesday to Sunday | 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Andes Exhibition Hall | Level -3
Limited capacity
General admission: $3000
Students: $1500
Agreements: $1500

Friends of CCLM: Free access
Childrens under 12 years: Free access
People over 60 years: Free access
Tuesday entry free upon reservation here

MOBILITY PASS | Attendees older than 15 years of age must present their mobility pass at the entrance to the cultural centre in accordance with current health regulations. People without a mobility pass will only be able to attend on Tuesdays between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm and on Thursdays between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm. All of the above in accordance with the provisions of the health authority within the framework of the Step by Step plan.

© Paul Klee. Soldier (detail), 1938, 110. Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern, Image Archive.



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