"Taking a line for a walk" - within Paul Klee’s modernist practice
Wingham, I. (2004) "Taking a line for a walk" - within Paul Klee’s modernist practice In: LIMITS: 21st Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia & New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia, 26-29 September 2004.
Official URL: http://www.sahanz.net/conferences/index.html
Paul Klee’s work, posthumously published in the Paul Klee Notebooks Volume 1 ‘The Thinking Eye’ and Volume 2 ‘The Nature of Nature’1, describe his teaching based on what could be described as modernist synthetic practice. However, Klee’s work and thinking demonstrates an oppositional, dialectical mode of looking and thinking that is both synthetic and analytic. Klee’s concern in his work and teaching is both with optical and non-optical ways of visual thinking. For him these ways are experienced through ‘an interplay of movements in the universe’, that, ‘at their centre’ have ‘the ‘I’ 2. Here, the relationship between the body and the line becomes evident in his description of the line (which could be active, middle or passive), a line that has been ‘taken for a walk’. This paper suggests addressing four particular aspects of Klee’s work concerned with epistemological limits: the limit of looking, the limit of visuality, the limit of subjectivity and the limit of phenomenology arguing the presence of cultivating ‘critical ambivalence’ in understanding his work as apparent modernist practice.
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