Paul Klee, painter, scientist, musician, teacher and poet, ranks as one of the 20th century’s most significant artists. He has always been thought of as a Swiss artist although he was actually brought up in Germany but spent half of his life in Bern. But Switzerland legitimately claims him because he was born in Switzerland, lived here and died here.
Paul Klee Important Modern Artist: image courtesy of Zentrum Paul Klee
In 2005 the Swiss in Bern opened a new center (Zentrum Paul Klee) dedicated to his life (1879-1940). A paradox of bourgeois and bohemian, Paul Klee was a famous artist during his lifetime for the avant-garde set and much revered today as a major contributor to modern art. According to his grandson, Alexander Klee who lives in Bern, “He wasn’t like Picasso with Latin energy. He was intellectual and all his paintings are very calm and direct”.
There are just a few weeks left for this particular exhibition which closes January 16, 2011 and Bern is only about an hour from Geneva or from Lausanne by SwissRail. But there is always something going on at the Zentrum Paul Klee. There are 4,000 paintings, water colors and drawings as well as archives and biographical material in the center. The Paul Klee Center organizes the exhibitions of his works on a rotating basis according to themes and it is changed on a regular basis.
The mission of the center is not only to showcase Paul Klee but to also act as a platform for interdisciplinary forms of artistic expression. In fact, there are musical and theatrical performances at the center but also conference and workshop space for special activities.
Italian architect Renzo Piano created the complex center on the eastern outskirts of Bern in the form of three undulating waves reflecting well the “Line, Form and Colour” of Paul Klee currently on exhibition and which is reminiscent of much of his paintings. Public transportation is readily available to the Zentrum Paul Klee.
By Architect Renzo Piano: image courtesy of the Zentrum Paul Klee
For more about Switzerland, follow me on Twitter.