Paul Klee. Portrait of an Equilibrist. 1927

Paul Klee Portrait of an Equilibrist 1927

  • Not on view

Here Klee has portrayed an artist as tightrope walker—an elongated stick figure with bent knee and outstretched arms. The figure strikes a precarious balance by adjusting the round balls or weights it holds. This set of lines and shapes, including the steps and yellow platform, can also be read as a face—the balls form eyes and the bent leg becomes a nose. Though painted, this linear composition embodies Klee's definition of drawing: "A line going for a walk."

Gallery label from 2006
Oil and collage on cardboard over wood with painted plaster border
24 7/8 x 15 3/4" (63.2 x 40 cm)
Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
Object number
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Painting and Sculpture