Journal article Open Access
Kersten, Wolfgang; Asendorf, Christoph; Graf, Daniel; Spathoni, Anthi-Danaé; Schäfer, Lea; Wiederkehr Sladeczek, Eva; Dössegger, Myriam; Erismann, Niklaus
In 1918, Paul Klee was involved in a project to illustrate Theodor Däubler's book Mit silberner Sichel (With a Silver Sickle). In 1917, Klee obtained a dedicated copy from the writer for Christmas. Long lost, this dedicated copy with numerous marginal drawings and underscores reappeared only in 2010.
Thanks to the generous support of the Paul Klee Foundation (now the Museumsstiftung für Kunst) of the Burgergemeinde Bern, the book has since become part of Klee's former library again, now housed in the depository of the Zentrum Paul Klee.
In his essay "From Cosmogony to Iconoclasm", art historian Wolfgang Kersten attempts to clarify, for the first time, the significance of the dedicated copy from an art historical point of view by shining a new light on certain works in watercolour that Klee made specifically with reference to passages in Däubler's epic.
In this spirit we’d like to invite you, dear readers, to explore with us in this issue a plethora of previously unknown or unnoticed documents and new references in Klee’s oeuvre.
Lea Schäfer explores, for the first time, the significance of textile structures for Paul Klee's practical work with regard to the development of his painting in the 1920s.
For Daniel Graf, Paul Klee's most important and innovative literary-historical contribution lies in the titles he assigned to his works. Using genuinely poetic means, Klee raised the previously functional “genre” of the title to a new level, creating a unique fusion of art and language.
In her contribution, Danaé Spathoni addresses the objecthood of acts of drawing and writing in the artistic and literary oeuvres of Cy Twombly and Paul Klee.
Christoph Asendorf traces interactions between various modernist currents and disciplines, arguing that Klee's art gave rise to a new notion of "permeability" that served as a catalyst and model for others.
Two contributions deal with previously unnoticed documents. The subject of Myriam Dössegger's investigation are X-ray images and photographs of snail shells she discovered in a book contained within Klee's personal library. Dössegger links these to the frequent motif of the snail in Klee's works.
Eva Wiederkehr Sladeczek’s contribution is dedicated to an early drawing Klee left in the visitor’s book (the “Hüttenbuch”) of the Blüemlisalp mountain hut in Switzerland. In her piece, Sladeczek reconstructs Klee's 1898 hike to the remote shelter, situated at 2840 metres above sea level.
Finally, Niklaus Erismann's musical study, “Zirp-Maschine”, compliments the written contributions contained within this issue. It is based on the "Plus-Minus" concept by Karl Heinz Stockhausen, who drew lasting inspiration from Klee's art theory.
With this new issue of ZM6 we wish you, dear readers, an interesting read and much inspiration.
Fabienne Eggelhöfer, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
Walther Fuchs, Digiboo Publishing House, Küsnacht
Osamu Okuda, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern