Paul Klee (1879-1940)
Klee made effort to innovate the absolute painting structure with reference to the music theory of the 18th century. His pictorial concepts influenced by music are called, for example, ‘pictorial rhythm’, ‘pictorial temporality’ and ‘polyphonic painting’. Graphic translation of a three part passage from J. S. Bach [fig1] is his translation into graphic terms of a passage from a Bach sonata. He used this diagram to illustrate the possibility of quantifying pictorial rhythms and linear dynamics taking in counterpoint as a conceptual tool. Drawing in two voices [fig2] demonstrates Klee’s basic approach to the use of line as an absolute pictorial element. By strongly equating the genesis of line with the genesis of melody, Klee found a solution to the problem of relating one independent line to another; namely, the principles of counterpoint (Kagan, p.45). By learning Klee’s such methods, I started to think that examining lines, shapes, rhythms or hues of light and shadows in comparison to music also could be possible.
Kagan, A. (1983) PAUL KLEE / Art & Music
London: Cornell University Press, p29, 31, 37, pp.43 – 45
[fig1]: Klee, P. Graphic translation of a three-part passage from J. S. Bach p44
[fig2]: Klee, P. Drawing in two voices p46
from Klee’s Bauhaus course notes(1921-22), Paul Klee Foundation, Kunstmuseum, Bern