Ford Crull on Paul Klee, The Magician

For me the truly amazing thing about Paul Klee was his incredible ability, constantly, to search out new pictorial ideas and yet simultaneously to create a unique, individual expression – and to work on these many ideas at the same time. I don’t believe there has ever been an artist so incredibly diverse in their total oeuvre. This was not limited to just his imagery, but also included his willingness to try a myriad of unusual techniques to achieve his enchanting pictorial stories.

As early as junior high school I fell in love with the magical quality of Klee’s paintings. Works such as Dance you Monster to my Soft Song! (1922), and The Twittering Machine (1922), betray an imagination that knew no bounds. At first glance, there exists an almost childlike innocence in the imagery, but the remarkable structure, technique, and sophisticated drawing exemplify an artistic intelligence that foresaw so much of what was to come.

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What is the process by which we rediscover the sublime? And re-achieve it? And discover those things inherent in us that renew our faith?

It is the journey of transformation, of self-discovery. We’re not going on a journey to save the world, but to save ourselves. And in so doing, we save the world. There are many roads to the same point. It seems increasingly necessary to point this out in our contemporary climate. All styles, dialectics, and methodologies are valid and even indispensable to a healthy artistic culture. The collective force of a multiplicity of views enhances and reinforces society, meanwhile providing a suitable environment for the artist journey.

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