MoMA
Paul Klee. Fire in the Evening. 1929
Paul Klee

Fire in the Evening

1929
On view
Medium
Oil on cardboard
Dimensions
13 3/8 x 13 1/4" (33.8 x 33.3 cm)
Credit
Mr. and Mrs. Joachim Jean Aberbach Fund
Object number
153.1970
Copyright
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

A red opaque rectangle stands out among bands of muted browns, greens, violets, and blues, which dynamically interact to suggest built structures or geographic formations. Klee's trip to Egypt in the winter of 1928–29 inspired a number of striated compositions, a response in part to the stratified cliffs of the Nile Valley and the long strips of tilled fields he saw there. These works "moved far from Nature," he said, "and found their way back to reality." While the work is apparently abstract, the variation within the simple formal palette of line and color constructs depth and space and even evokes a fire aflame in a desert at day's end.

Gallery label from 2006
Provenance information
Acquired from the artist by Hermann Rupf (1880-1962) and Margrit Rupf, Bern [1]; acquired by Georg Schmidt (1896-1965), Basel-Binningen, Switzerland, by 1950 [2]; by inheritance to his daughter, Anita Moppert-Schmidt, Basel-Binningen, Switzerland, 1965 [3]; [Frank Perls Gallery, Los Angeles, 1968] [4]; sold through Kornfeld & Klipstein, Bern to Galerie Beyeler, Basel, June, 1968 [5]; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1970.
[1] Paul-Klee-Stiftung, Kunstmuseum Bern, eds. Paul Klee: catalogue raisonné. Bern: Benteli and New York: Thames and Hudson, vol. 5 (2001), no. 4851. Date of acquisition unknown.
[2] Ibid. Included in the exhibition Paul Klee, 1879-1940: Austellung aus Schweizer Privat-Sammlungen, Basel Kunstmuseum, 1950 (no. 33: "Privatbesitz Basel").
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid. Ownership could not be verified.
[5] Ibid. Moderne Kunst des neunzehnten und zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts, Kornfeld & Klipstein, Bern, June 13-June 15, 1968 (no. 479: Feuer abends).

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource