Monday, October 21, 2013

Paul Klee

When I was a teenager, I "fell in love" with the pictures created by artist Paul Klee. My favourite painting of his was one called 'Senecio' (appears on the left); I don't remember now what attracted me to it nor how I discovered who painted it. I suspect that there was a subconscious influence at play: one day (probably in 1973) I discovered that there was a print of this painting hanging on the wall next to the main staircase in my school! This means that I had probably seen this painting at least once a day for several years.

I went through an 'arty' phase when I started at university, and frequently visited an Athena shop, from which I bought a few Klee and Picasso prints. I took these with me when I emigrated to Israel, and I mounted the 'Senecio' print on plywood, so that I could hang it properly. I had this 'painting' on my wall for several years but eventually had to discard it as the colours had faded. I'm not sure where the Picasso is now but this used to hang on a wall at home; when people came to our house, I used to joke by saying that most of the pictures on the walls were drawn by my wife, but this one (the Picasso) was mine.

I see that there is a Klee exhibition running at the Tate Modern at the moment. This reminds me that there was a similar exhibition in Jan/Feb 1975, which I wrote about for my university newspaper. This was the first of several articles which I wrote, although the others were about music or films. Eventually I 'graduated' to writing a personal column, but due to circumstances beyond my control (I spent my second year working outside of the university; the newspaper's editor changed)  I only wrote two personal columns. Unfortunately, all the reviews and columns which I wrote got lost, so I can't quote from them. Probably just as well, as they would seem extremely naive and callow now.

I have at least one book about Klee at home which dates from my period of infatuation, but I think that I haven't looked at it for thirty years. But if I were in London now, I would be making my way to the Tate....

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