Artist Paul Klee Twittering Machine Research Proposal

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Paul Klee's painting style reflects the two art movements with which he was most familiar: the Der Blaue Reiter and Bauhaus. Although his work changed in character and tone over the course of his career, paintings like "Twittering Machine" are characteristically Klee. "Twittering Machine" is whimsical and playful but not frivolous. The painting incorporates elements from nature, most notably birds and fish. However, "Twittering Machine" also features the elements of a mechanized lifestyle such as coils and wires. The overall theme of "Twittering Machine" reflects the most recent use of the word twitter: communication.

Klee could not have foreseen the way technology would be used in the 21st century when he painted "The Twittering Machine" in 1922. The twittering Klee refers to in the painting is the incessant chatter of birds and people. Communications technologies enhance the ways people interact, whether telephone and telegraph or cellular phone and Twitter.

In "Twittering Machine," a group of birds on a wire converge in conversation. A person, represented by a characteristically Klee-like stick figure, reaches toward and grasps the wire. The person stands on a flat surface, somewhat like a bed and represented by a simple rectangular plane with four feet. The person has a set of wings, represented by two triangles on the linear torso. Klee suggests that human beings long to soar and fly like birds.

"Twittering Machine" encompasses many of the themes that preoccupied European artists during the early 20th century. The longing to be free of mundane existence is especially evident in "Twittering Machine," because the stick figured person is reaching out to the birds' place of existence from its lowly one using only symbolic wings. The theme of technology is especially apparent, because of the prominent motif of wires. Bauhaus art has been described as a "utopian, postwar celebration of a machine aesthetic," ("Klee-Twittering Machine").

Klee was also concerned with the immediate, practical, and architectural meaning of line. The artist, and the Bauhuas movement as a whole, were concerned in part with "the characteristics of the line," as well as color theory and visual harmony (Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design). If, as the Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Design suggest, Klee was concerned with "equilibrium of movement and counter-movement," then "Twittering Machine" exemplifies the artist's work.

Paul Klee was born in Switzerland in 1879 but spent most of his life in Germany. Living in Munich exposed Klee to the Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter) group as well as to its founders such as Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky would become a friend and major influence on Klee. The Blue Rider group pioneered advancements in abstract art and was based in Munich from 1911 until 1914. Klee traveled to Northern Africa, where he encountered colors and lighting such as he had never… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Artist Paul Klee Twittering Machine.  (2009, April 28).  Retrieved December 15, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/artist-paul-klee-twittering-machine/8163637

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"Artist Paul Klee Twittering Machine."  28 April 2009.  Web.  15 December 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/artist-paul-klee-twittering-machine/8163637>.

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"Artist Paul Klee Twittering Machine."  Essaytown.com.  April 28, 2009.  Accessed December 15, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/artist-paul-klee-twittering-machine/8163637.