Our Art / Paul Klee / The Harbinger of Autumn

The Harbinger of Autumn  by Paul Klee

The Harbinger of Autumn , 1922

Paul Klee

A brilliant orange oval on a stem, rather like a child’s drawing of a tree, is the focus of this composition of interlocking shapes. Cool colors create a neutral background that sets off the orange, which is meant to evoke the flash of changing autumn leaves. Color, line and shape were Klee’s primary concerns, and the interplay of all three here creates a sense of volume and perspective. The irregular shapes and the surprise of the orange lend a playfulness that’s hard to pin down. Klee wrote, “Color possesses me...That is the meaning of this happy hour: color and I are one.”

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