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Aviatic Evolution

Artist
Paul Klee, Swiss, 1879–1940
Date
1934
Material
Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite
Made in
Western Europe, Switzerland, Europe
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 212
Dimensions
16 3/8 x 19 1/2 in. (41.6 x 49.5 cm)
framed: 25 1/8 x 28 1/16 x 2 3/8 in. (63.8 x 71.3 x 6 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Morton D. May
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
233:1954
NOTES
Paul Klee shows a bird in flight with a tiny head, deep red neck, and wide outstretched wings rendered in sweeping veils of color. The artist associated birds and their free movement with detachment from earthly concerns; he even compared them to angels. Klee used the coarser, reverse side of a commercially prepared canvas, contrasting its rough surface with thin, translucent paint glazes. Inspired by the drawings of children, Klee explored the unconscious as a means to access primal artistic impulses.
- 1939
Galerie Simon (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler), Paris, France [1]

1939 -
Nierendorf Gallery (Karl Nierendorf), New York, NY, USA, acquired from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler [2]

Prescott Collection [3]

by 1948 -
Mrs. Gerald Breckenridge, Beverly Hills, CA [4]

- 1953
Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1953 - 1954
Morton D. May (1914-1983), St. Louis, MO, purchased from Paul Kantor Gallery [5]

1954 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Morton D. May [6]


Notes:
[1] Confirmed through archival material (correspondence and a shipping list dated November 17, 1939) by Eva Wiederkehr Sladeczek, head of the Paul Klee catalogue raisonné project at the Kunstmuseum Bern [email dated July 1, 2002, SLAM document files].

[2] See note [1].

[3] See note [1].

[4] Mrs. Gerald Breckenridge is listed as the lender in a 1948 exhibition ["Klee – 30 Years” The Modern Institute of Art, Beverly Hills, CA, 1948, cat. 22].

[5] May purchased the painting from Paul Kantor Gallery on March 11, 1953 [Bill of sale, SLAM document files].

[6] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, December 9, 1954.
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