February 7, 2012

Paul Klee, Little Tree

From January 7 to February 8, 1960 the University Gallery exhibited paintings, drawings and prints by the artist Paul Klee from the Galka E. Scheyer Collection at the Pasadena Art Museum, California.

An invitation to the opening:

Web_Cats_083_WinterQuarterInvite_PaulKlee_1960.jpg Web_Cats_084_WinterQuarterInvite_PaulKlee2_1960.jpg

A photograph was found within the exhibition folder in Box 7 of the WAM collection:


In the January 12, 1960 edition of the MN Daily, Thomas Olson reviews the exhibition in the article, “Klee’s Art is Sophisticated,”

… There is a strong element of whimsy and design for design’s sake in his work, but the essential content of his prints, drawings and paintings is the nature of the world and man. In an exhibit of his work now at the University Gallery, Klee sees man as a victim of his environment (“Swamp-Water Sprite“) and his desires (“The Lover“), and by nature a vulgar, grotesque and foolish creature.

Even the artist’s rather sympathetic depiction of the human situation in “Tightrope Walker” shows man as somewhat of a clown, moving intrepidly onward simply because there is nowhere else to go….

… This savage portrayal of man is considerably softened by Klee’s great wit and charm and his exquisite handling of line, contrast and color. He shows us what we are in such a way that we can’t help laughing at ourselves.”


I, personally, can’t help laughing at the lonely little tree unassumingly part of Klee’s exhibition…

Rebecca Wilson is a graduate student in the Master of Liberal Studies program at the University of Minnesota, completing a minor in Museum Studies. She also serves as a Visitor Services Assistant at the Weisman Art Museum.

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