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Paul Klee

Still Life with Gentian

pastel on cambric on cardboard
1938
43 x 41 cm / 16 7/8 x 16 1/8 in.
signed upper right dated, titled and inscribed 'X 3' on the original cardboard

In 1938, Klee executed a number of pencil drawings, in which he fragmented figural motifs. The first painting which followed was „Fragmenta Veneris“ (1938,381), in which the artist deconstructed the goddess Venus, the epitome of beauty. Continuing the series, Klee made the fragments increasingly more abstract, so that only single elements are recognizable, which also give the works their title, as in „A black fig, too“ (1938,382) and the present work, “Still Life with Gentian” 1938,383). Among the undefinable shapes the bright blue gentian with its pointed petals stands out distinctly. The shapes, which do not touch, seem to weightlessly float on the picture plane. The shapes painted by Klee seem like precursors of the paper cutouts, which Henri Matisse created from 1941 on. Provenance available

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