1933 was the most turbulent year in Paul Klee’s professional career. Only a few weeks after Hitler had become Chancellor of the Reich, members of the NSDAP searched the artist’s apartment in Dessau. In April, Klee was removed from office at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. He emigrated to Bern with his wife on 23 December. For 1933, the catalogue raisonné lists more works than for any other year before. The list also comprises a group of 245 drawings in which Klee relies on parody as his instrument for committing his extraordinarily complex and passionate reactions to the Nazi regime to paper.

Without offering any direct comments, the drawings deal with demagogy, militarism, violence, anti-Semitism, and humiliation in the manner peculiar to the artist. The exhibition shows a selection of over 100 items from this largest cohesive group of works by Klee for the first time and also presents a number of the artist’s paintings dating from the same year. In cooperation with Lenbachhaus, Munich, Hamburger Kunsthalle, and Paul-Klee-Stiftung, Kunstmuseum Bern.


Edited by Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich, Helmut Friedel. With essays by Pamela Kort, Osamu Okuda, and Otto Karl Werckmeister, plus a chronology by Stefan Frey and Andreas Hüneke. German, 328 pages, Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne. ISBN 3-88375-667-9.