Elf with iris, 1885-90
Watercolor and gouache over pencil
Living in this world -
to what shall I compare it?
Its like a boat rowing out at break of day,
leaving no trace behind.
From Wiki: ”Sami Mansei (沙弥満誓, “novice Mansei”, … 720), was a Japanese Buddhist priest and poet. Little is known of his life except that his secular name was Kasa no Ason Maro. While serving at a temple in the north of Kyūshū, he was a member of Ōtomo no Tabito’s literary coterie. His few surviving pieces are collected in the Man’yōshū.” Image: Li Chuan
Vergesslicher Engel (Forgetful Angel), 1939
Artemis: He painted so many angels. Most in the last years of his life.
This is a description of his angel paintings from Museum Folkwang: ”Paul Klee’s angels number amongst the artist’s most popular works. They not only appeal to art lovers but have also gained huge popularity as poetic guardians. As winged hybrids, half man, half celestial messenger, they represent a transitional form between earthly and heavenly existence, which serves our need for spirituality. Yet at the same time angels reflect the modern skepticism towards religion and questions of faith. In addition, they offer art historians, authors, philosophers, theologians as well as psychologists intellectual starting points.
Klee produced most of his angels in the final years of his life, between 1938 and 1940. As such, the drawings, watercolors and paintings are also an expression of his situation at the time, characterized as it was by serious illness and open animosity from the Nazis. They give an impression of how Klee felt, at the transition between life and death. They show fear and threat, but also intellectual detachment, wit and humor. Klee’s angels are still largely rooted in human existence, and this is the deeper reason for their popularity. They have minor weaknesses and flaws, are forgetful or ugly, full or worries or playful, meaning that everyone can recognize him- or herself in them. Stylistically, these are characteristic examples of the minimalist drawing style found in Paul Klee’s late work.
This is the first exhibition to focus on this unusual group within Paul Klee’s highly diverse oeuvre, and with around 80 drawings, watercolors, gouaches and paintings presents the majority of his surviving works on this subject. In collaboration with the Paul Klee Center, Bern Made possible through the kind support of Sparkasse Essen” (text via: museum-folkwang.de)
Additional reading: Paul Klee - The Berggruen Klee Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art By Sabine Rewald HERE
Angelus Novus (New Angel), 1920
Description from Wiki: ”Angelus Novus is mono print or oil transfer method invented by and executed by Paul Klee in 1920. It is now in the collection of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
In his ninth thesis in the essay “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” Walter Benjamin, who owned the print for many years, describes:
A Klee painting named Angelus Novus shows an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.
Otto Karl Werckmeister has commented that Benjamin’s interpretation of the angel has led to it becoming “an icon of the left”.
The name and concept of the angel has inspired works by other artists and musicians.”
He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Image via: joserevuelas.wordpress
Mountain and details of the Mountain, 2010
Li Huayi (born 1948, Chinese)
See high res.
Dashboard click box below for video ( via: dlasseurgvm on youtube)