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Julia

Accession Number
1983/1.405

Title
Julia

Artist(s)
Paul Klee

Artist Nationality
Swiss

Object Creation Date
1937

Medium & Support
colored pastel on off-white paper

Dimensions
10 13/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. ( 27.5 cm x 17.4 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Estate of Maxine W. Kunstadter in memory of Sigmund Kunstadter, Class of 1922

Label copy

In 1937, the year in which seventeen of the artist's works were included in the official Nazi exhibition of "Degenerate Art," Klee switched from making drawings in a thin, continuous line to a new mode using bold flat discontinuous lines. For this new work Klee used not a pen or pencil but a broad brush and colored paste medium. The change was motivated both by a desire to reinvigorate his art during a period of personal and professional crisis and as a way to fuse the individual characteristics of drawing and painting. The result was a body of work that possesses great power, monumentality, and sadness. The identity of Klee's sitter in this work, executed three years before his death, is not known, but this does not diminish the directness and charm of the image.
Klee wrote that "the formal elements of graphic art are the dot, line, plane, and space--the last three charged with energy of some kind." In Julia, Klee minimizes his composition to these few entities, revealing his debt to the reductive art of children. Yet, while his drawing is whimsical, it is not naive; its abstracted, minimal nature reflects choices that mirror the development of modern art.
Sean M. Ulmer, University Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, for "A Matter of Degree: Abstraction in Twentieth-Century Art," November 10, 2001 - January 27, 2002
In 1937 Klee switched from drawings executed in a thin continuous line to a new mode using bold flat discontinuous lines. For this new work Klee used not a pen or pencil but a broad brush and colored paste medium.The identity of Klee's sitter here is not known, but this does not diminish the directness and charm of the image.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Rights
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Keywords
Expressionism
abstraction
face
modern and contemporary art

& Author Notes

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