Film and photography, the theory of relativity and psychoanalysis – at the beginning of the 20th century, academic painting was no longer able to address issues of modern life. The X-ray and microscope had made the inner structures, the elementary building blocks of life visible to the human gaze. Many artists started experimenting with new forms of expression beyond any illusionistic representation of the visible world. Figuration or abstraction – that was the question central to Modern Art. Paul Klee (1879-1940) found his own answers in this matter.
A portrait of Paul Klee’s sister from 1903 – the 24-year-old artist described in his diary how unsatisfactory he found his attempts at figurative painting.
Klee’s extraordinary pictorial worlds are the result of a complex artistic development. He was the recipient of forceful epiphanies during his travels, some of which he was only able to incorporate into his work years later. These were experiences with a long-lasting impact. Five such journeys will provide insights into Klee’s artistic development: from being a student full of doubts to one of the most important modern artists. But what makes his art so unique?