As a professional violinist, Klee often made more money as a performer than as an artist. He was brought up in a musical household, listening to opera and studying his instruments.
I felt that these influences could be strongly seen in Klee’s work. Many of his works were made up of shapes, and shapes within shapes. Various works were dominated by what felt like rhythms and textures, polyphony and counterpoint. In some of his work, he used gradations and layering of colour, producing the effect of stained glass and the emittance of light. This technique reminded me of the way Messiaen was inspired by the stained glass in the churches, and gave Klee’s work a more sacred element to it.
I listened to the audio sound track for the exhibition. It was quite interesting the way they had presented it. Instead of simply speaking about the works, they played soundtracks to various pieces of music Klee was apparently fond of. These included Mozart’s Magic Flute, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B major and Beethoven’s Fidelio. The latter was played with a painting called Landscape with flags. Whilst listening to the music and looking at the painting I could almost see the trumpets /horns somewhere amongst the shapes and patterns. The bottom left hand corner is the area that attracts my attention, the way the shapes burst out of another shape and the way he has coloured them to look cylindrical reminds me of some woodwind or brass instruments.
The Klee exhibition Making Visible opened my eyes to the different ways to portray music through art. There were many musical elements that were maintained quite strongly throughout, cleverly emphasised by the musical soundtrack provided. It made me think about how I would present my work.. perhaps coupling a still image with a moving soundtrack was a nice way to juxtapose two subjects so closely related.
(Images from http://www.pinterest.com/pin/69876231691387402/ and http://paintingandframe.com/buy/paul_klee_landscape_with_flags_c_1915_art_paint-21097.html)