Halasz writes: "I’ve never been a passionate fan of later work by Kandinsky, but I found myself liking some of these paintings better than I’d expected, with the stand-out being the large 'Black Form' (1923). Still, they were no match for the series of large paintings hanging in the large gallery at the west end of the building (backing up on Fifth Avenue, and with a wall text headlined 'Beyond Easel Painting'). This is a dazzling gallery, with a generous selection of the dynamic, and often deeply moving pictures that Kandinsky made at his peak, between 1911 and 1914. During this period, if you believe Rose-Carol Washton Long, Kandinsky was making semi-abstract paintings with imagery derived from Theosophical treatises, including elders, walled cities, riders on horseback, and whatnot. If you don’t go along with this iconography, these are merely the fluid, painterly, free and easy works from the artist’s first and happiest discovery of abstraction."
Clark writes that "because cubist solidity was so remote from [Klee's] native perceptual habits. It did not take him long to realise that if his art was to flourish he had to work with his very lack of certainty about where anything was in the world and how intimate with objects a painting ought to claim to be... The mottled, blotted, bending, backlit fields of colour he soon perfected, and the feeling of the surface in a picture (and space in the world) as essentially penetrable – always about to open or dissolve – were his true sensibility discovering its means... In and around 1923 Klee found a way to make even the tight cubist grid do the work he wanted – by inserting enough brighter and lighter squares into the chequerboard, each of them beckoning the eye through the foreground into depth, so that the surface came to look as if it were a kind of transparency ‘really’ hung across a glimpsed infinity on the other side. Once he had the basic idea he often returned to it, varying the size of the squares, the regularity of the grid, the translucency of the veil."
Nicholas Fox-Weber writes about Paul Klee's influence as a teacher at the Bauhaus, on the occasion of the exhibition Paul Klee: Making Visible at Tate Modern, on view through March 9, 2014.
Fox-Weber cites impressions of Klee by a number of collectors and artists including Anni Albers who "considered [Klee] to be unparalleled in his genius, in his ability to combine the abstract and geometric with the natural and organic." Fox-Weber continues: "Klee was neither especially large nor strong, but he was someone to whom mysterious, other-world experiences occurred, and he was possessed of exceptional force. Besides, rivers and precipitous jumps in scale and mystical events were all part of the personal universe he richly inhabited... This is how Klee was to everybody: openly fearful, yet infallibly intrepid. He was always on an adventure."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.