Paul Klee, the cat and the bird. Abstract, but not too abstract
Paul Klee is considered an abstract painter.
Unlike other abstract artist colleagues, however, the titles of his paintings are concrete. It is not about “Composition n.15”, “Improvisation 28” and so on, but about titles like: “Peach picking”, “The beautiful gardener”, “Child with toys” and so on.
The attentive observer cannot help but comment: "Yes, okay ... but would this jumble of squares and scribbles make a nice gardener?"
The answer is provided by Klee himself: “Art does not reproduce what is visible, but makes visible what is not always visible”. That is to say: you don't see it, but the beautiful gardener is also what I painted.
Klee, therefore, always starts from a real and concrete datum and then paints it, trying to find other meanings, different senses; we could say, as it is fashionable today, it makes a parallel world concrete.
Let's put the parallel worlds aside for a while and look together at one of the thousands of paintings he painted: "Cat and Bird" from 1928.
Paul used oil and ink on gauze. He used practically every possible material because he liked to experiment with every effect.
With gauze as a background, the color acquires thickness and vibrates in a particular way. Its unmistakable sign looks like one of those graffiti that mark the walls of prehistoric caves.
Apart from the cat's nose, the colors do not follow the contour lines, but move as they please, telling us a story.
The shape of the cat's face speaks to us of two big eyes with feline pupils, of the triangular ears that we put in their place, because Klee only mentioned them.
In the center of the forehead is a bird. A unique sign in the same place where Hindus usually put the third eye.
It simply states: I am a bird.
Shrewd commentators immediately interpreted the theme of the painting: the cat thinks of the bird because it wants to eat it.
I think they are victims of a beautiful oversight and a very ... human soul.
The cat's nose, in fact, is a red heart.
The cat, therefore, loves. He has no intention of eating the bird because it is his friend. Of course you can see that he is a smart cat, but he has two beautiful eyes and warm cheeks. The mustache at rest.
Klee, in a few lines and colors, told a beautiful possible story.
And Klee knew about cats, because he had three: Nuggi, Fritzi and Bimbo.
We also try to see what is not always visible. After all, it is the secret of poetry.
This color poem is kept at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but if you want to admire it at home, all you have to do is have a beautiful Pitteikon art print delivered to you.