Monday, May 12, 2014

Cats in Art: Cat and Bird (Klee)

NOTE: I know, I am a day late in posting Cats in Art.  But my excuse is a good one--spending the day with the bride and her mother (and father), both in their 80s and in relatively good health.  My mother, unfortunately, passed several years ago.


This is what I posted last week, on Paul Klee's famous painting:

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I'm using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.

Image credit Wikipaintings, hereCat and Bird (Katze und Vogel), Paul Klee, 1928, oil and ink on gessoed canvas, mounted on wood, 15" x 21", held Museum of Modern Art, New York City.  

Well--and please bear with me--in researching Mr. Klee for another possible post yesterday, I uncovered exactly none--zero--nada--other cat paintings.  Bit I did discover a gem that deserves its own Cats in Art post.  Turns out that the Swiss painter was a cat lover.  You should click on the link to see a photo of Klee and his cat (some some reason I cannot copy paste it here):

In the third instalment of our curator’s A–Z guide to the great Swiss modernist, Matthew Gale explains what to do if a cat walks across your work – according to Paul Klee.

Throughout Klee’s life cats were part of the family. They appear in his letters and his photographs, and even as subjects of his works. Fritzi the cat was ever-present in the 1920s, whilst Bimbo was central to the later Bauhaus years, followed by a second Bimbo who moved with them to Switzerland.
As Nicholas Fox Weber explains in this month’s Tate Etc., one particular anecdote of the painter’s feline-fondness came from the American art collector, EdwardM.M. Warburg, who visited Klee (and his cat) to look at some works on paper. He recalled seeing the cat start to walk across a still-wet watercolour and tried to stop him, afraid that he would leave a paw-print. But Klee is said to have simply laughed, and told him to let the cat wander as he liked. ‘Many years from now, one of your art connoisseurs will wonder how in the world I ever got that effect’, he explained. Whether or not this account is true, it shows Klee’s openness to unexpected developments.

Kinda reminds me of the Renoir story where real Renoirs can be distinguished from fakes by the presence of cat hair in the paint.

No comments:

Post a Comment