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Genesis: Paul Klee’s Temporalization of Form

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AbstractIn addition to his artistic work, Paul Klee was a theoretician of the highest rank. Readings of his extensive writings evidence that he was a transformer of the immemorial eidetic concept of form toward its temporalization. As a standard he uses the mobility of nature and the cosmos, to which he anchors his generative concept of form. This essay concerns a reconstruction of some of his lines of argumentation from manuscripts that were not published during his lifetime. Among those are the role of the point (the “gray point”) as the source of linear and chromatic expression, the relation between kinesis and stasis in the work, and the models with which he analyzes the role of the artist and his position in the world. Klee’s insights are fruitful not only for an understanding of his own work but also for a history of the concept of form in the twentieth century.

Affiliations: 1: Universität Basel, Kunsthistorisches Seminar Im Laurenz-Bau, CH-4051 BaselSwitzerland


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