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May Picture by Paul Klee
May Picture by Paul Klee

May Picture, 1925

Paul Klee

This may not look like a landscape painting, but the artist meant it as one. Here, he’s fractioned a landscape he saw during a trip to Tunisia into squares, which seem to extend beyond the edges of the painting. The squares themselves can be viewed as odd-shaped stones assembled to form a mosaic. The colors might seem to be randomly arrayed, but the juxtapositions are in fact carefully chosen according to the principles of color theory, which is based on how the complementary colors have different impact when juxtaposed in different ways.

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