2019年1月31日 星期四

Bauhaus 百年群英傳 (4):Paul Klee ( 1879-1940) :Pedagogical Sketchbook /The thinking Eye, How to Be an Artist, According to Paul Klee

Bauhaus 百年群英傳 (4):Paul Klee ( 1879-1940)

How to Be an Artist, According to Paul Klee
Artsy Editors
Dec 21, 2016 5:23 pm

One of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century,
Paul Klee
was also a prolific teacher, serving as a faculty member of the
school between 1921 and 1931. Promoting a theoretical approach to artmaking, the painter taught a variety of courses across disciplines, from bookbinding to basic design, and left behind over 3,900 pages in lecture notes. These documents, partly compiled in Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook (1925), reveal the artist’s innovative and unusual lesson plans, which often provided students with a step-by-step approach to artistic expression. We’ve pulled some of his key lessons about art and design. Let’s start with the basics.

Lesson #1: Take a Line for a Walk

Pages from Paul Klee’s notes. Images via Zentrum Paul Klee.

“An active line on a walk, moving freely, without goal.” So begins Klee’s Pedagogical Sketchbook, which served as something of a textbook for many Bauhaus students. Five pages follow this famous description of the most basic of human marks, outlining the various types of lines, from those that circumscribe themselves to others that contain fixed points. Each example is accompanied by a diagram, which Klee likely drew on the blackboard during his lectures.
Many of Klee’s lessons center around this type of categorization, demonstrating the multiple ways in which a point can become a line, a line can become a plane, and so on. Beginning with the fundamentals, Klee modeled his teaching methods after the way children learn to read. “First letters, then symbols, then, finally, how to read and write,” he explained. Just as you can rearrange a series of letters to make different words, Klee would ask his students to repeat the same form in as many positions as possible. Such painstaking tasks would lay the groundwork for future works of art and design, and needed to be mastered before tone and color entered the picture.

Lesson #2: Observe a Fishtank

Schlamm-Assel-Fisch (Mud-Woodlouse-Fish), 1940
Fondation Beyeler

Sans Titre (Deux poissons, un hameçon, un ver), 1901
"Paul Klee: L'ironie à l'oeuvre" at Centre Pompidou, Paris

When Klee hosted classes in his home, he often required that students spend time observing the tropical fish in his large aquarium. The artist would turn the lights on and off, coaxing the fish to swim and hide, while encouraging students to carefully take note of their activity.
For those who know Klee as the “father of abstract art,” this lesson may seem surprising. However, Klee was deeply concerned with creating movement in his compositions. And he asserted that all artworks—even the most abstract—should be inspired by nature. “Follow the ways of natural creation, the becoming, the functioning of forms,” he taught his students. “Then perhaps starting from nature you will achieve formations of your own, and one day you may even become like nature yourself and start creating.”

Lesson #3: Draw the Circulatory System

Paysage près de E. (en Bavière), 1921
"Paul Klee: L'ironie à l'oeuvre" at Centre Pompidou, Paris

Park near Lu, 1938
The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee - Making Visible, Tate Modern, London

Klee studied nature obsessively, and took a particular interest in the branching forms of plants, organ systems, and waterways. In his lectures, he described these patterns with scientific specificity, mapping mathematical equations and arrow-filled diagrams on the board. He explored how seeds sprout, how leaves develop ribs, and how lakes break off into streams, almost always ending with an awe-inspiring assertion about the magic contained in nature’s growth and development.
In one of these lessons, Klee explored the circulatory system, sketching on the chalkboard the movement of blood through the body. He claimed that this bodily process reflected the manner in which art is created. Afterwards, Klee asked his students to draw the circulatory system themselves. Their renderings, he insisted, should portray the transition of blood from stage to stage, shifting from red to blue, using line and density to represent shifts in weight, nutrients, and force. Go ahead, give it a try.

Lesson #4: Weigh the Colors

Left: Paul Klee’s color chart, from his notes. Image via Zentrum Paul Klee; Right: Goethe’s color wheel, published in Theory of Colours. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Only after students grasped the intricacies of lines and planes—and could find these forms in nature—did Klee introduce color. Like much of his teachings, Klee’s lessons about color combined scientific precision with a deep sense of mysticism. His theories primarily drew upon Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s color wheel, put forth a century earlier, in 1809, which proposed the idea that red opposed green, orange opposed blue, and yellow opposed violet.
Klee added a new dimension to this diagram, turning it into a sphere, with white at the top and black at the base. This framework, he taught, should encompass all aspects of color, including hue, saturation, and value. Klee required his students to create color diagrams of their own, including one assignment in which they visually weighed one color against another—the color red, as it turns out, is heavier than the color blue.
While grounded in science, Klee was also a romantic when it came to color. He often made connections between color and music, explaining that combinations of colors (much like musical notes) can be harmonious or dissonant depending on the pairing. He would sometimes even play the violin for his students. Klee’s most existential statement about color, however, came from beyond the classroom. “Color and I are one,” he declared in his diary in 1914. “I am a painter.”

Lesson #5: Study the Greats
When discussing the work of other artists, Klee used the following metaphor. If a new product like a toothpaste or a laundry detergent was popular with customers, its competitors should research the item’s chemical elements so that they could replicate the success. Or if a food induced illness, scientists should strive to determine which specific ingredients were poisonous and which were benign.
As such, artists should break down the artworks of their peers and predecessors into the most elementary components—line, form, and color—to determine what makes an image successful or problematic. “We do not analyze works of art because we want to imitate them or because we distrust them,” he once said. Instead, we do so “as to begin to walk ourselves.”
In his later years at the Bauhaus, Klee provided students with feedback on their works in his home. Students would bring in their fresh paintings and place them on empty easels, as Klee’s unfinished works hung in the background. Klee would sit, gliding back and forth in his rocking chair, and inspect the images in silence. Only then would he provide an analysis of the works, albeit in his famously lofty fashion, speaking to a larger problem in the field of painting or identifying a subconscious idea that manifested itself in the work. Afterward, the class would sit around a large, glazed clay pot, smoke cigarettes, and discuss artmaking. Of all the Bauhaus masters, Klee was the only one who did not give grades.

—Sarah Gottesman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Pedagogical Sketchbook is a book by Paul Klee. It is based on his extensive lectures on visual form at Bauhaus Staatliche Art School where he was a teacher in between 1921-1931. Originally handwritten – as a pile of working notes he used in his lectures – it was eventually edited by Walter Gropius, designed by László Moholy-Nagy and published in 1925 as a Bauhaus student manual (Bauhausbucher No.2, as the second in the series of the fourteen Bauhaus books) under the original title: Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch. It was translated into English by Sibyl Moholy-Nagy (in 1953), who also wrote an introduction for it.
Along with other Bauhaus books such as Theory of Color (by Johannes Itten) and Point and Line to Plane (by Wassily Kandinsky), Pedagogical Sketchbook is a legacy of teaching methods on art theory and practice at Bauhaus Staatliche Art School.
The book is still in print.


During his teaching career at Bauhaus, Klee reflected on his own working methods and techniques. “When I came to be teacher”, he wrote, “I had to account explicitly for what I had been used to doing unconsciously.” [1] He left over 3000 handwritten pages developed as a theoretical basis for his lectures, some of which are still unpublished. [2]
From the same period comes another one of his books: The thinking Eye, dealing with the same issues as Pedagogical Sketchbook, but much more extensive in scope. However, this book was published and translated later, after his death (1956; trans. 1961).

Teaching concept[edit]

Pedagogical Sketchbook is an intuitive art investigation of dynamic principles in visual arts. Klee takes his students on an ‘adventure in seeing’[3] guiding them step-by-step through a challenging conceptual framework. Objects are rendered in a complex relation to physical and intellectual space concepts. It is an exercise in modern art thinking.
In her introduction, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy divides the book into 4 different parts corresponding to the 4 conceptual frameworks. Each framework is illustrated by intricate drawings (mixture of what looks like creative arithmetic or geometry sketches, scribbles and mental notes).
Starting chapter concerns ‘Line and Structure’. A dot goes for a walk… freely and without a goal.[4] Dot is a “point of progression” and by shifting its position forward becomes a line. Line variations lead to even more complex structures. It can move freely in a calligraphic stroke, or circumscribe, act as a planar definition, as a mathematical structural element (as in Golden Section) or as a path in motion (when it coordinates kinetic movements such as in muscle contraction). Artist's world is dynamic – in the state of becoming – rather than static.
In ‘Dimension and Balance’, the line is related to psychological and social concepts of space. Klee explains subjectivity of our perception by comparing examples of optical illusion with horizon and perspective. We use them as orientation points within the space. As an illustration, Klee uses a stylized drawing representing a tightrope walker with a bamboo stick as a ‘horizon’ point, keeping his balance. These examples evoke our reality as constructed and arbitrary. “Dimension is in itself nothing but an arbitrary expansion of form into height, width, depth and time”.[5] By challenging conventional perception of his students, Klee shows them a way ‘beyond’ physical realm, into the world of metaphysical and spiritual. It is an invitation to approach art intuitively, since outer perception can be deceptive (socially constructed).
The third part is about “Gravitational Curve”. A very first drawing of a strong black arrow pointing downwards postulates man as a tragic figure always brought down by a plummet (a black arrow) of a gravitational force. However, Klee also points that water and atmosphere are transitional regions, where spirit gets lighter and breaks free. This is a spiritual space open to dynamic positions, new symbols and imaginative co-relations of visual elements (mechanical law of nature versus imaginative vision rendering of an object in art).
Continuing further into the final part of the manual ‘Kinetic and Chromatic Energy’, Klee gives examples of ‘creative kinetics’ defying gravitational force such as centripetal force in pendulum and spinning top, or a ‘feathered arrow’.[6] He continues with a ‘symbolic’ arrow illustrating similar efforts of a man to move ‘a bit further than customary – further than possible’.[7]
Last drawings in the book are related to chromatic and thermo-dynamic field where a color is put in relation to motion: “Motion that may be called infinitive…exists only in the activation of color moving between the fervid contrasts of utter black and utter white”.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giedion-Welcker: page 158.
  2. ^ http://www.zpk.org/ww/en/pub/web_root/act/wissenschaftliches_archiv/originaldokumente.cfm
  3. ^ Moholy-Nagy: concluding note.
  4. ^ Moholy-Nagy: page 16.
  5. ^ Moholy-Nagy: page 10.
  6. ^ Moholy-Nagy: page 54.
  7. ^ Moholy-Nagy: page 54.
  8. ^ Moholy-Nagy: page 11.


External links

Ars longa: REMBRANDT van Rijn - 350th ANNIVERSARY

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Wikipedia
BornJuly 15, 1606, Leiden, Netherlands
DiedOctober 4, 1669, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ars longa, vita brevis is a Latin translation of an aphorism coming originally from Greek. The Latin quote is often rendered in English as Art is long, life is short.

Ars longa: Rembrandt catalog receives three honors

Museum exhibitions have lives lasting well past their public display – in artistic inspiration, viewers’ memories, online portals and print catalogs.
One such catalog, produced by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art in 2017, is now a multiple award winner. “Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings” most recently was honored with the College Art Association’s 2019 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Book Award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections and Exhibitions. Award winners will be presented during the CAA’s 107th Annual Conference, Feb. 13-16 in New York City.
The catalog also received the 2018 Henry Allen Moe Prize for Catalogs of Distinction in the Arts, and an honorable mention for the 2018 International Fine Print Dealers Association Book Award.
Positioning Rembrandt van Rijn’s art and artistic practice as inspirational resources for research and teaching, “Lines of Inquiry” ran Sept. 23 to Dec. 17, 2017, at the Johnson Museum, and Feb. 6 to May 13, 2018, at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, co-organizer of the exhibit. It was co-curated by Andrew C. Weislogel, the Seymour R. Askin Jr. ’47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art at the Johnson Museum; and Andaleeb Badiee Banta, then at Oberlin.
The catalog includes articles by the curators and faculty researchers, including Weislogel and C. Richard Johnson Jr. (professor of electrical and computer engineering and a Jacobs Fellow in Computational Arts and Humanities at Cornell Tech) on collaborations with students on the related Watermark Identification in Rembrandt’s Etchings (WIRE) Project at Cornell.

— Daniel Aloi

🖼 The year 2019 marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt van Rijn's death. The Dutchman was not only a great painter but also a master of self presentation. If there had been selfies at that time, his self portraits probably would have gotten the most likes:

Time vs Fleet of Moments

The basis data for the phony Rembrandt came from 3D scans of about 350 original works by the 17th-century Dutch master. The team developed a special ...
List of Mennonite Subjects in Rembrandt's Art.. .... D. W. Friesen & Sons. Altona, Manitoba ... Harmensz van Rijn, which occurred 350 years ago, is being ...
Dec 21, 2018 - Uploaded by holland.com
In 2019, it will be the 350th anniversary of the death of Rembrandt van Rijn, one of ... living memories ...

2019年1月30日 星期三

“The Lure of Dresden: Bellotto at the Court of Saxony,”

Bellotto’s magnificent paintings of Dresden from the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) of the Dresden State Art Collections will be on loan to the Kimbell for the special exhibition “The Lure of Dresden: Bellotto at the Court of Saxony,” on view February 10 through April 28, 2019. www.kimbellart.org/exhibition/lure-dresden
Kimbell Art Museum

China tea service for Rosenthal.


Morgan Library & Museum


文 / 阿甘      2019-01-25


紐約有個比較不太常有人提到的景點,但是非常值得一訪,就是這位於曼哈頓中城區的 Morgan Library & Museum 摩根圖書館與博物館。
這裡是入口大廳。成人票 $22美金,但星期五晚上免費,想省錢的人一定要記得!也別忘記星期一不開放,否則白跑一趟。
穿過大廳後來到一個摩登中庭,充滿著美妙的樂聲。中庭叫做 Gilbert Court,2006年完成,由義大利建築師設計。 這個室內中庭的主要功能是把3棟老建築相連起來。
這是其中一棟: Mr. Morgan's Library and Study,建於 1902-1906 年之間。Mr. Morgan 是誰呢?就是著名銀行家 JP Morgan。這名字聽起來很熟悉? JP Morgan Chase 摩根大通 2011 年起成為美國最大的金融服務機構,是 JP Morgan 銀行多年來跟其他銀行併購後的結果。
JP Morgan 經常在個人書房中和朋友、收藏家和學者見面。
牆上畫像中穿紅袍的就是 JP Morgan。JP Morgan 於1837年出生,很早就開始在金融業打滾,20 世紀初期美國許多知名企業的成立和併購都可以看到他居中的身影,像是通用電子和 AT&T。
JP Morgan收藏的珍貴手稿。
四周牆上的書籍都是 JP Morgan 的私人收藏,他於 1913 年過世。他兒子根據他的遺願,將精采的圖書館變身博物館開放給大眾參觀。
中庭連接的另一棟建築於 1928 年完工,現在是藝廊。上圖是展廳中間的 Marble Room。
如果你逛膩了千篇一律的觀光景點,不妨來 Morgan Library & Museum  瞧瞧,絕對不會失望。
關鍵字: 生活旅遊





阿甘旅居美東,曾擔任美國公立中學教師七年,目前從事行銷工作。著有「 阿甘老師的美國大冒險」(天下雜誌) 與「 優秀教師的職場修練手記」(上海華東師範大學),並發表過多篇美國教育政策相關文章。閒暇之餘,阿甘喜歡四處旅遊,和朋友體驗美國文化與生活。目前為止, 阿甘的足跡已經遍及全美五十州以及全世界三十多個國家與地區。