Tate Modern, London
16 October 2013 – 9 March 2014
Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
+44 20 7887 8888

Paul Klee (1879–1940) was one of the most renowned artists to work at the Bauhaus and was both a playful and a radical figure in European Modernism. His intense and intricate work are the subject of this major exhibition at Tate Modern, the UK’s first large-scale Klee exhibition for over a decade. Challenging his reputation as a solitary dreamer, it reveals the innovation and rigour with which he created his work and presented it to the public.

Bringing together colourful drawings, watercolours and paintings from collections around the world, Paul Klee: Making Visible spans the three decades of his career: from his emergence in Munich in the 1910s, through his years of teaching at the Bauhaus in the 1920s, up to his final paintings made in Bern after the outbreak of the Second World War. The show will reunite important groups of work which the artist created, catalogued or exhibited together at these key moments in his life.

Born in Switzerland, Klee created some of the most innovative and best-loved works of the twentieth century, in media including etching, drawing, ink, pastel, oil paint and watercolour. Uniquely among his contemporaries, he combined the machine aesthetic of modernism with lyrical, organic elements, arriving at a visual language entirely his own. After his training in Munich, in 1911 he became involved with the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), founded by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Klee and Kandinsky became lifelong friends, and the support of the older painter provided much-needed encouragement. His work was also influenced by the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and the abstract translucent colour planes of Robert Delaunay. Although he moved freely between media and from figuration to abstraction, Klee’s works remain instantly recognisable, often characterised by a playfulness and wit that can sharpen to biting satire on occasion.