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  • 1. ARTPRAEGER PAPERBACKS $1.95PEDAGOGICAL SKETCHBOOKBY PAUL KLEEINTRODUCTION AND TRANSLATION BY SIBYL MOHOLY-NAGY87 illustrationsPaul Klee occupies a unique position among the creators ofmodern art. Although he shed all ties with conventionalpresentation, he developed a closer and deeper relationshipto reality than did most painters of his time. Without anyattempt at imitation or idealization, he recorded proportion,motion, and depth in space as the fundamental attributes ofthe visual world.Klee collected his observations in his PEDAGOGICAL SKETCHBOOK, intended as the basis for the course in design theoryat the famous Bauhaus art school in Germany. From thesimple phenomenon of interweaving lines, his work leads tothe comprehension of defined planes-of structure, dimension, equilibrium, and motion. But he employs no abstractformulas. The student remains in the familiar world-aworld that acquires new significance through the straightforward approach of Klees simple, lucid drawings and hisprecise captions. Chessboard, bone, muscle, heart, a waterwheel, a plant, railroad ties, a tightrope walker-these serveas examples for the forty-three design lessons.PEDAGOGICAL SKETCHBOOK is a vital contribution towarda more human, more universal goal in design educationthe work of a visionary painter who dedicated himself to thepractical task of making people see."A key to understanding of the art of Paul Klee, one whichcan be used most profitably by the art student."-College ArtJournal.This new translation was prepared by the late SIBYL MOHOLY-NAGY, whofollowed Klees text with the utmost fidelity.PRAEGER PUBLISHERS111 Fourth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10003

2. PRAEGER PUBLISHERSNew York Washington 3. BOOKS THAT MATTERPublished in the United States of America in 1960by Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., Publisher,111 Fourth Avenue, New York 3, N. Y.Seventh printing, 1972The original edition of this bookwas published in 1953by Frederick A. Praeger, Inc., New York.This book by Paul Klee was first publishedunder the title PadagogischesSkizzenbuch 1925 as the second of thefourteen Bauhaus Books edited byWalter Gropius and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy.The original layout by Laszlo Moholy-Nagyhas been retained. This edition wascomposed at The Polyglot Press, New York,by Peter Bergman.Copyright 1953 by Frederick A. Praeger, Inc.Manufactured in the United States of AmericaIntroduction and TranslationbySibyl Moholy-Nagy 4. 7INTRODUCTIONby Sibyl Moholy-Nagy"For the artist communication with nature remains themost essential condition. The artist is human; himselfnature; part of nature within natural space."This statement, written in 1923 by Paul Klee, was the Leitmotif of acreative life that derived almost equal inspiration from painting andfrom music. Man painted and danced long before he learned to writeand construct. The senses of form and tone are his primordial heritage.Paul Klee fused both of these creative impulses into a new entity. Hisforms are derived from nature, inspired by observation of shape andcyclic change but their appearance only matters in so far as it symbolizes an inner actuality that receives meaning from its relationship tothe cosmos. There is a common agreement among men on the placeand function of external features: eye, leg, roof, sail, star. In Paul Kleespictures they are used as beacons, pointing away from the surface intoa spiritual reality. Just as a magician performs the miraculous with objects of utter familiarity, such as cards, handkerchiefs, coins, rabbits, soPaul Klee uses the familiar object in unfamiliar relationships to materialize the unknown.The Symbolic Expressionists and the Cubists during the first decade ofthe Twentieth Century had already questioned the validity of AcademicNaturalism. Their painting had looked below the surface with theanalytical eye of psychology and x-ray. But the multi-layered figures ofKirchner and Kokoschka or the simultaneous views of Braque andPicasso, were analytical-statements, resting statically on the canvas.Klees figures and forms are not only transparent, as if seen through afluoroscope; they exist in a magnetic field of cross currents: lines, forms,splotches, arrows, color waves. As if it were a symphonic composition,the main motif moves from variation to variation in its relationship toother objects on the canvas. A bird in THE TWITTERING MACHINE, forinstance, is different from all other birds through its relationship totransmission belt, crank shaft, and musical notations, floating in the air.Without contradicting himself, Klee could confess to "communication Quotation. in this introduction ore from Paul Klee, Paths of the Study of Natura (Wage dar Naturstudiums). Yearbook of the Staatlich. Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919-1923, Bauhaus Verlag, Weimar.Muenchen; and from the Pedagogical sketchbook. 5. 59with nature" as the essence of his work, but he could also say that "alltrue creation is a thing born out of nothing." The seeming contrast isresolved through his unfailing originality "born out of nothing" whichis the spiritual cause. The optical effect is a pictorial composition thatuses the identifiable natural shape as mediary. In THE ROOM AND ITSINHABITANTS from 1921, floor boards, window frame and door, arerecognizable, together with the faces of woman and child. But they aremere points of reference in a world of lines, arrows, reflections, fadeouts that reveal intuitively the mysterious man-shelter relationshipthat has determined the course of civilization.If ever an artist understood the visual aspirations of his epoch it wasPaul Klee; and the civilized world came to recognize his contemporaneousness even before his death in 1940. Exhibitions and publicationshave constantly increased in number; and it might be assumed that,together with Cezanne and Picasso, he will be the most reproduced andannotated painter of this century. But it is known to few that Paul Kleewas more than a painter. His "communication with nature" producedmuch more than the transfiguration of the perceived form. It produceda philosophy that rested on empathy with the created world, acceptingeverything that is with equal love and humility. As a very young manhe had spoken of his art as "andacht zum kleinen" (devotion to smallthings). In the Microcosm of his own visual world he worshipped theMacrocosm of the universe. This was his revolution. Academic art hadbeen based since the Renaissance on the Aristotelian principle of deduction, meaning that all representation was deduced from the broadgeneral principles of absolute beauty and conventional color canons.Paul Klee replaced deduction by induction. Through observation of thesmallest manifestation of form and interrelationship, he could concludeabout the magnitude of natural order. Energy and substance, that whichmoves and that which is moved, were of equal importance as symbolsof creation. He loved the natural event; therefore he knew its meaningin the universal scheme. And with the instinct of the true lover hehad to comprehend what he loved. The phenomenon perceived andanalyzed, was investigated until its significance was beyond doubt. Itis in Paul Klee that science and art fuse. Exactitude winged by intuitionwas the goal he held out for his students.Paul Klee the painter could not help becoming a teacher in the originalmeaning of the term. The word "to teach" derives from the Gothic"taiku-sign" (our word token). It is the mission of the teacher to observewhat goes unnoticed by the multitude. He is an interpreter of signs.When Walter Gropius developed the curriculum of his German Bauhaus,he gave back to the word teacher its basic significance. Kandinsky, Klee,Feininger, Moholy-Nagy, Schlemmer, Albers, who taught there, wereinterpreters of the visual as tokens of a fundamental optical and structural order that had been obscured by centuries of literary allegorism.In this community of guides Paul Klee chose for himself the task ofpointing out new ways of studying the signs of nature. "By contemplating the optical-physical appearance, the ego arrives at intuitive conclusions about the inner substance." The art student was to be morethan a refined camera, trained to record the surface of the object. Hemust realize that he is "child of this earth; yet also child of the Universe;issue of a star among stars."A mind so in flux, so sensitive to intuitive insights, could never write anacademic textbook. All he could retain on paper were indications, hints,allusions, like the delicate color dots and line plays on his pictures. ThePEDAGOGICAL SKETCHBOOK is the abstract of Paul Klees inductivevision. In it the natural object is not merely rendered two-dimensionally,it becomes "rumlich," related to physical and intellectual space concepts, through four main approaches that form the four divisions ofthe Sketchbook:Proportionate Line and StructureDimension and BalanceGravitational CurveKinetic and Chromatic EnergyThe first part of the Sketchbook (Sections 1.1-1.13) introduces the transformation of the static dot into linear dynamics. The line, being successive dot progression, walks, circumscribes, creates passive-blank andactive-filled planes. Line rhythm is measured like a musical score or anarithmetical problem. Gradually, line emerges as the measure of allstructural proportion, from Euclids Golden Section (1.7) to the energeticpower lines of ligaments and tendons, of water currents and plantfibers. Each of the four divisions of the Sketchbook has one key-sentence, strewn almost casually-without the pompousness of a theoremamong specific observations. This one sentence in each chapter pointsthe path from the particular to the universal. The first part on "Proportionate Line and Structure" is condensed into one laconic statement: 6. "purely repetitive and therefore structural" (1.6), explaining in fivewords the nature of vertical structure as the repetitive accumulation oflike units.The second part of the Sketchbook (11.14-11.25) deals with "Dimens