Who? Paul Klee, Swiss Painter ( ) What? Cat and Bird (Oil and Ink on Canvas, 15 x 21 inches) When? 1928 Where is it now?

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1 Who? Paul Klee, Swiss Painter ( ) What? Cat and Bird (Oil and Ink on Canvas, 15 x 21 inches) When? 1928 Where is it now? The Museum of Modern Art, New York Why is this artist/artwork important? Paul Klee was one of a number of early 20 th century artists who sought to find new ways of viewing the world by looking at children s art. In Cat and Bird, he uses simplified shapes, lines and expressive (non-realistic) colors to suggest both the visual world and the realm of the imagination.

2 Paul Klee Information Sheet Paul Klee (Pronounced Clay ) Paul Klee was born in Switzerland in He came from a cultured, artistic family: His father was a musician and his mother was a singer. (Show a photograph) Klee liked to draw and play the violin. He, eventually, had to decide which area to pursue, music or art. (Cartoon). He chose art and went to study in Munich, which was a big art center at the time. Klee also loved cats his favorite cat was named Bimbo. He did many pictures of cats (we will look at one later). (Photograph of Klee in his studio shows Bimbo relaxing in the background). There were lots of changes in the art world when Klee was studying. Artists were doing totally different things from in the past. (Paul Gauguin The White Horse) Art does not have to look the way it looks in nature. It doesn t have to be like a photograph. Gauguin said that artists should be able to use their imagination and dreams. For example, Gauguin would have said something like, If I dream that I see a red horse, then I should be able to paint a horse red. - - might ask them if they have ever seen a red horse in real like (not a cartoon). Klee liked this idea that art does not have to look the way it looks in the real world. He was also interested in children s art. He thought that what a Kindergartener (like all of you) did was great. He actually tried to make art look like what a Kindergartener would do. He said forget all that fancy art school stuff, that is too high- minded. He went back to using simple shapes and lines. He said, A line is a dot that goes for a walk. Examples of Klee s work that are interesting to kids include: 1. A Child s Game, 1939 (Berne, Switzerland) See if they can find the child. She is running through a garden of flowers and has a goose at her side. One of her eyes is a ball, the other one is an S. One eye is for playing and the other one is for seen. - - Could ask what she is pointing to (can be anything) - - point out non- realistic colors, simple lines and shapes. Can they identify any of the shapes in the painting (spirals, circles, rectangles, hearts.) - - how does the painting make you feel - - do you think the game is fun?

3 A Child s Game, 1939

4 2. Red Balloon, 1922 (The Guggenheim Museum, NY) 3. Around the Fish, 1926

5 4. Cat and Bird, 1928 (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) This is the one for the project

6 Comparative Images and Photographs: Paul Gauguin, The White Horse, 1898

7 Paul Klee in his studio with one of his cats

8 Paul Klee Cartoon

9 Paul Klee Project Inspired by Cat and Bird, 1928 Materials: Colored Pencils Watercolor paints Paper cups or small bowls for water Brushes Sheets of colored paper (construction paper) Heavy Stock paper (the kind that can absorb watercolor) Glue Sticks Scissors Paul Klee often combined different materials in his pictures. Tell the kids to make a picture of an animal or a person that also shows what the animal or person is thinking about. A person might be thinking of a game, a favorite character, a sport, a toy. A dog might be thinking about a bone, a ball. But it could really be anything. 1. Have the kids begin by outlining their subject with colored pencils. You might suggest that they try to make a picture with only one line (Not picking up their pencil) for the main subject. 2. Have them cut out, or tear, shapes and glue them on to add color (this step is optional) 3. The last step should be the watercolor. Remind them not to use too much water this will make the paper too soggy and the colors with end up really light. Remind them that the paper will be damp after the paint is applied, so if they try to use pencil at that point, the paper may tear.

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