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swissinfo honours artist Paul Klee

Zentrum Paul Klee opens in Bern later this month

swissinfo has launched a special website devoted to the life and works of Paul Klee, the avant-garde Swiss artist.

The site goes online three weeks before the opening of the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern – the first cultural facility of its kind honouring one artist, combining an art gallery, museum, concert hall and research centre.

Available in both html and flash, as well as in nine languages, the website takes the reader on a multimedia journey through the artist’s life, career and achievements.

Klee (1879-1940) is seen by many as a conundrum – a modern artist who had bourgeois yearnings; a man quintessentially Swiss, who died a German national; and an avant-garde painter, who defied classification.

He left behind a considerable body of work – nearly 10,000 works, which he carefully catalogued.

swissinfo guides the reader through the contradictions, as well as shedding a light on the man’s biography and artistic development.

It speaks to experts and even a descendant of Klee’s to get closer to a personality who called himself “intangible”.

Two sides

The articles within the swissinfo dossier are divided into two sections: the man and the artist.

“The man” contains texts on his genesis as a painter, his early years as the son of a German father growing up in Switzerland, his struggle to become Swiss, his time in Germany and his collision with history.

The second section looks at Klee’s growth as an artist, provides an introduction to the Zentrum Paul Klee, its conception and realisation, and an interview with the centre’s architect, Renzo Piano.

The flash version of the website contains a number of multimedia elements.

Among them are a puzzle, a dictionary of artistic motifs and an interactive walk through the pathways in Bern named after Klee’s works.

The reader can also make a virtual tour of the centre’s buildings, which includes an online gallery of Klee’s paintings.

swissinfo, Faryal Mirza

Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, near the Swiss capital, Bern, on December 18, 1879.
He spent more than 30 years of his life in Switzerland.
He died on June 29, 1940 in Locarno-Muralto.
The artist left behind a catalogue of almost 10,000 works.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR