"Paul Klee and East Asia" Exhibition

Chiba City Museum of Art

poster for "Paul Klee and East Asia" Exhibition

This event has ended.

While traveling through Florence in 1902, the 22-year old Paul Klee saw a theater performance by Otojiro Kawakami featuring Sadayakko Kawakami, which left him enamored with Japanese culture. This was presumably his first direct encounter with Japan. Between 1905 and 1908, Klee created works based on ukiyo-e by Hokusai and others.

Thanks to private collectors and various publications, Klee was able to see ukiyo-e. However, as seen in his early works, which show the predominant influence of French Impressionism and the style of late Impressionism, it is often said that he was influenced by Japanese art indirectly through works by artists like Vincent van Gogh, who borrowed the compositional style of ukiyo-e. One can easily assume that his early style, which emphasizes contours, is rooted in Hokusai's sketches. In early 20th century Europe, various publications that introduced Japanese and Chinese art were released one after another. Klee also owned many books about Chinese culture, and it is well known that he had a fascination with Chinese poetry.

With the support of the Paul Klee Center in Berne, Switzerland, this exhibition aims to highlight the underexposed connection between Klee and eastern Asian cultures. Starting with his early line drawings which clearly show the influence of ukiyo-e, this exhibition also presents a total of 90 works including his more developed oil paintings that incorporate Asian symbols and motifs, such as calligraphy. In addition, ukiyo-e works that are related to Klee's drawings and paintings are also on display.



From 2009-05-16 To 2009-06-21


Paul Klee



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