This week our AZ continues with how Paul Klee settled into the habit of striking a fine line underneath his works, joining a few other quirky routines as explained by our curator Matthew Gale

Paul Klee Project for a Garden 1922 Paul Klee Stiftung, Zentrum Paul Klee

Paul Klee
Project for a Garden 1922
Paul Klee Stiftung, Zentrum Paul Klee

Once Paul Klee had completed a drawing or watercolour, he took care to mount it on card. This sometimes involved extensions of coloured paper at the edges, that (as in the case of the red addition to With the Rainbow) could transform a composition.

A further touch came with the fine ink line drawn below the work on the backing card. Sometimes echoed at the top, the underlining provided additional balance and became the margin around which Klee located his number, title and (often creeping onto the work itself) signature. It was part of finishing. Even when the title slipped below (in the early 1920s) and required a further line of its own, the effect was to provide stability and it continued as part of Klee’s practice until almost the end of his life.

The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee: Making Visible is at Tate Modern from 16 October 2013 – 9 March 2014