Paul Klee Making Visible


Spanning seventeen rooms, the Tate Modern's exhibition of Paul Klee is vast and overwhelming. It is amusing to discover that Klee meticulously numbered and cataloged all of his works, as if anticipating sprawling exhibitions to come. In the exhaustion brought on by the exhibition's marathon tour of shifting styles, one can speculate on some other anticipations that Klee may have made.

For example, doesn't Klee's Landscape with Flags (1915) prefigure the landscape with flags of Nintendo's _Super Mario Bros._ (1985)?

Or, is World 2-2 from the same reminiscent of Sunken Landscape (1918), or does Sunken Landscape remind me of World 2-2?

    Are we looking at _They're Biting_ (1920) or an early concept design sketch for the fishing mini-game from _[The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening]( (1993)? 

It is clear from these examples that pixel art owes something to Paul Klee. However, it is equally true that Klee owes something to pixel art, as pixel art ensures that Klee's work remains an art of the present (and not merely of historical interest) even as the world he painted recedes from us.

The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee - Making Visible is at the Tate Modern until the 9th of March, 2014.

Previous Next