Paul Klee. Heroic Strokes of the Bow (Heroische Bogenstriche). 1938

Paul Klee

Heroic Strokes of the Bow (Heroische Bogenstriche)


Not on view
Pigmented paste on newspaper on dyed cloth on board in artist's frame
28 3/4 x 20 7/8" (73 x 53 cm)
Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest
Object number
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Paul Klee has 144 works online.
There are 9,602 drawings online.

The title of this late work suggests that the black zigzags refer to the rhythmic strokes of a violin bow. Evoking a tablet of hieroglyphs, these thick, seemingly unrehearsed lines traverse the ground, bounding dashes, circles, and indecipherable symbols. While barely legible beneath a layer of colored paste, comparatively delicate newspaper type runs vertically, rooting the work in its contemporary moment. Following the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany, from 1933 until his death Klee lived in exile in Switzerland. These last years of his life were marked by intense productivity and assertive directness.

Gallery label from 2006

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