Paul Klee: Irony at Work, edited by Angela Lampe / ISBN 9783791355436 / 312-page hardcover, about 9.6 x 12 inches / Prestel
"The king of whimsy and lightheartedness, Paul Klee, is the focus of this career-spanning volume. This isn't your normal artistic exploration, though. Featuring more than 250 works, the volume tracks the trajectory of Klee's extensive oeuvre by honing in on its larger philosophical context. As we dig deeper, we discover that German Romanticism and satire had a lot to do with shaping his storied career. Art and philosophy have never looked so cool and colorful."--Interview Magazine
Offering a fresh look at one of the major artists of the 20th century, this book illustrates how Paul Klee’s critical and ironic take on life was evident in every stage of his oeuvre. Known for its whimsy and levity, Paul Klee’s art is often considered gleefully childlike. This groundbreaking volume argues that Klee’s style emerged from a philosophical school that originated with early German Romanticism and consisted of perpetual shifts between satire and affirmation of the absolute, finite and infinite, and real and ideal. Featuring approximately 250 works, this careful appreciation of Klee connects each stage of his career to the larger philosophical context. Exploring the satires and caricatures of Klee’s youth, his experimentations in Cubism and "mechanical theater," and the constructivist approach of the Bauhaus school, this book follows the trajectory of Klee’s oeuvre as a reflection of prevailing styles. It closes with the artist’s final years, in which he was labeled a "degenerate artist" by the Nazi regime and struggled with illness. Viewed through the many facets of irony as a complex theme, and against the backdrop of Europe’s seismic political and artistic movements, Klee’s body of work takes on a renewed significance as one of the most critical of its generation.