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Paul Klee, Garten, 1918, Privatsammlung
Paul Klee, Garten, 1918, Privatsammlung © Privatsammlung

Max Liebermann and Paul Klee - Garden Pictures

Garden Pictures

Max Liebermann created over 200 paintings based on motifs from his own garden. The works painted with pastosity and impressionism are characteristic of the artist's late work. Contrary to the long-standing president of the Berlin Secession, however, Impressionism was by no means the end point of artistic development.

Address

Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee

Colomierstraße 3 14109  Berlin


At the same time as his late works, modern artists redefined the theme of gardening. For Paul Klee in particular, nature was a decisive point of departure for his art. Even his parents' garden was a source of inspiration and retreat for him. Here he observed the plants as a teenager and drew them. On hikes he sketched flowers and park-like landscapes. But soon the representation of their optical manifestations was no longer sufficient for him and he turned to the abstract composition of the picture, in which the representational only appears as a sign, in order to grasp its interior. Klee's garden paintings become abstractly constructed picture compositions in which geometric forms are combined with symbolic settlements that can be read as schematic representations of plants and garden architecture: an arched line evoking a garden gate; parallel lines reminiscent of beds or paths, or stylized tree silhouettes representing lush vegetation. Between Liebermann and Klee's garden paintings lie worlds: abstraction here, impressionistic form there. The exhibition "Max Liebermann and Paul Klee - Im Garten" (Max Liebermann and Paul Klee - In the Garden) juxtaposes the garden paintings of the two artists and reveals the specific formal idioms of the two artists in their engagement with their gardens.Both artists are close to each other beyond the mere theme of the figurative pictorial elements and in the foundation of their aesthetic considerations. Both define the garden as a theme through the same representational pictorial elements (beets, gates, trees, walls) and understand it as an architecturally designed nature. In explaining their artistic form, both artists also refer to Goethe's writings and take a similar concept of nature as their starting point.

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