Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, two of the most influential figures in the modernist movement, are the subject of this illuminating book that opens a dialogue between their work, friendship, and influence on each other. Klee and Kandinsky were towering figures of the modernist movement and were close, both as friends and artists. For a time
they lived next door to one another, and exchanged their artistic
ideas on a daily basis. This unique book explores their 30-year
relationship, from the time of the Blue Rider group around 1912,
to the Bauhaus years in Weimar and Dessau until the late 1930s.
With the culture of the Weimar Republic as a backdrop, this book
traces the eventful history of an artistic friendship. Kandinsky's
idealism is juxtaposed with Klee's irony, and we learn that their
relationship was characterized in equal measure by friendship
and competitiveness, mutual influence and the need to establish
distance. The focus is on the artistic dialogue they enacted
through their art. They were joined by an aspiration to spiritualize
art and explore its intrinsic laws. At the same time, Kandinsky's
commitment to abstraction contrasted strongly with Klee's
allegiance to natural models.
Vivian Endicott Barnett has compiled several volumes of the Kandinsky catalogue raisonne. Michael Baumgartner is Chief Curator and Head of Collections and Research at the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern. Annegret Hoberg is the Director of Collections for the Blue Rider and the Kubin-Archiv at the Lenbachhaus in Munich. Christine Hopfengart was Director of the Paul Klee Foundation (2001-2005) and a curator at the Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern (2005-2012). She is a freelance curator who lives in Berlin.