As we reach the penultimate post in our A–Z series on the modernist painter Paul Klee, this week our curator Matthew Gale has a shot at unfolding a mysterious tale in A Young Lady’s Adventure
A tale seems to unfold in A Young Lady’s Adventure, but quite what it is remains obscure. There is a magical atmosphere. The ‘Young Lady’ and her long-jawed dog encounter a bird in a darkened forest. The red arrow may mark the path or suggest a threat, or both.
Although the space is different, much the same may be said of the contemporary Main Scene from the Ballet ‘The False Oath’ also from 1922, in which a shadowy arrow is outplayed by the huge exclamation mark. It descends on the performers. In these works Klee showed how he could hold the balance between narrative and open-endedness.
Klee’s work is dotted with graphic markers and characterful animals. Read more in our A-Z on how he used letters in his painting, and was fascinated by fish and cats. Oh, and don’t miss next week’s…Z is for Zoo.
The EY Exhibition: Paul Klee: Making Visible is at Tate Modern from 16 October 2013 – 9 March 2014