Photography – Photograms – A Beginner’s Guide – A Blurring of Boundaries 2 – Paul Klee’s Influence – An article by Goff James

Welcome followers and visitors to another update in A Beginner’s Guide to Photography. Today I will be discussing some more ideas with regard to experimenting further with photograms as well as continuing discussing more ideas related to one of my personal favourite artists – Paul Klee.

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Goff James, Fear is a habit, Photogram, 2017

In past articles I have often stated, especially for a beginner, it is good to look at ones own photographs as well as those of other photographers and artists; by doing so, one is able to learn to understand better what photography is all about.

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Goff James, White Line, Photogram, 2017

Here I have taken the photogram and reconstructed elements onto the surface and then rephotographed the image and then experimented further with them in an editing suite.

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Goff James, Box with Two Red Arrows, Photogram, 2017

Paul Klee has had a significant influence on my developing art practice. His ideas subconsciously influence other areas of my own practice including working with the process of creating photograms.

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Paul Klee, Affected Place [Betroffener Ort], 1922,
Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper; top and bottom strips with watercolor and ink, mounted on cardboard,
Zentrum Paul Klee, Berne

Created in Klee’s early Bauhaus years, this piece shows a scene of ambiguous signs and symbols over a background of modulated purples and oranges.

The various strips of colour hint at a horizon, their horizontal emphasis counteracted only by the boldly painted arrow, which abruptly suggests something as ordinary as a road sign.

Like the many gradations of colour, the arrow generates movement, compelling the viewer’s eye to the centre of the picture.

The influence on Klee of Cubist still lives art by such as those of Picasso and Braque, is clearly apparent: Klee suggests a motif painted from nature while also cancelling it, as though to remind us that this is no window but a kind of abstract sign system.

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Paul Klee, Two Ways,1932
Watercolor on paper, mounted on paper
sheet:313 x 484 mm; mount: 443 x 610 mm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Estate of Karl Nierendorf
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Paul Klee, Scherzo with Thirteen (Das Scherzo mit der Dreizehn),1922
Oil transfer drawing, watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper on board,
279 x 359 mm, © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Whilst Klee was at the Bauhaus, he explored distinctive ways of image–making, including transfer drawings. This work was created by tracing the lines of a pencil drawing through a black-inked surface onto another clean sheet of paper.

The clean sheet received the outline of the drawing in black as well as additional smudges of excess pigment, to which Klee then directly added motifs in watercolour and ink.

It is the the arching and angled arrows, before which whimsical figures appear to dance, indicate motion and spatial depth that I find extremely interesting.

The reference to music, a mainstay in Klee’s life and in his Bauhaus activities, is accentuated by his use of the word “scherzo,” referring to a vigorous and playful composition, in the work’s title.

I like this idea of introducing letters and words into a composition. This is something that one might like to experiment with within ones own photography. There is so much to be learned from ‘playing’ with such ideas.

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Goff James, Circle and Three White Shapes, Photogram, 2017

This is something that I have experimented with in my own photographs and photograms. I continue to develop such ideas with regard to symbolism and pictorial narrative. The following images are the results of my own past endeavours.

Gallery

Reference Attribution List

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-klee-paul.htm

https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/paul-klee

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79456

Photogram Attributions, Goff James

Copyright (c) 2021 Goff James – All Rights Reserved 

More photography by Goff James

I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and creating photograms; the same applies to considering your own photos, other photographers’ work as well as applying different artist’s ideas too.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Remember there are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it.

Your photographs are your world.

You can do what you like. 

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take or consider how to look at or stage a photograph.

Don’t worry about what you might think is right or wrong in talking about or taking photographs.

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have funJust enjoy the process.

Happy Photography. 

Thank you for your visit.

I cordially invite you to subscribe to Goff James Art Photography Poetry at goffjamesart.wordpress.com (Doing so will allow you to be notified whenever new content is published on my blog.

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry

Photography – Photograms – A Beginner’s Guide – A Blurring of Boundaries – Paul Klee’s Influence – An article by Goff James

Welcome followers and visitors to another update in A Beginner’s Guide to Photography. Today I will be discussing some more ideas with regard to experimenting further with photograms as well as introducing ideas from one of my personal favourite artists – Paul Klee.

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In past articles I have often stated, especially for a beginner, it is good to look at ones own photographs as well as those of other photographers and artists; by doing so, one is able to learn to understand better what photography is all about.

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© Goff James, Moon with White Line, 2017
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© Goff James, Moon with Arrow, 2017
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© Goff James, Moon with 5,2,9,, 2017

Here I have taken some of Klee’s concepts and attempted to introduce them into photograms. I have taken the photogram and reconstructed elements onto the surface and then rephotographed the image and then experimented with them in an editing suite.

Art does not reproduce what we see; rather, it makes us see.

Paul Klee

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Paul Klee, Historical Site, 1927, Watercolour and ink on paper on board, 355 x 487 mm, Tate.

The appeal of Paul Klee’s work is that it is very difficult to partition him within a particular single artistic movement. His works are at times both fantastical, childlike as well as being humorous.

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Paul Klee, Insula Dulcamara 1938  Oil on newsprint, mounted on burlap, 31 1/2 x 69 in; Klee Foundation, Bern

Klee was fundamentally a transcendentalist. He considered that the world was composed of many differing realities and that the physical world was only one of them.

I find such an idea very interesting in deed. The artist’s use of design, pattern, colour and miniature signs and symbols within his pictorial narratives all speak of a hidden depth and meaning which I find totally absorbing and have become part of my own practice.

Paul Klee’s compositional construction always appears to take precedence over narrative.

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Paul Klee, Tale à la Hoffmann, 1921, Watercolor, pencil, and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with metallic foil, 311 x 241 mm, Location Unstated
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Paul Klee, Burdened Children,1930 Graphite, crayon and ink on paper on board, 650 x 458 mm, Tate

Klee’s use of design, pattern, colour and miniature signs and symbols within his pictorial narratives all speak of a hidden depth and meaning which I find totally absorbing and have become part of my own practices.

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Paul Klee, Walpurgis Night 1935, Gouache on fabric on plywood
Support: 508 x 470 mm, frame: 725 x 682 x 72 mm, Tate

Another appeal of Klee’s work is the great sense of rhythm and transience that are present within his works as well as his powerful expressive use of intense colour. There is an affinity between between art and music and the artist utilises this analogy throughout his portfolio of works.

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Paul Klee, Abstract Trio, 1923
Watercolour and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with gouache and ink, 321 x 502 mm,
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1984 (1984.315.36) MoMA NewYork

Klee challenged the traditional boundaries that segregated writing and the visual arts through “exploring a new expressive, and largely abstract or poetic language of pictorial symbols and signs. Arrows, letters, musical notation, ancient hieroglyphs, or a few black lines standing in for a person or object frequently appear in his work, while rarely demanding a specific reading.”

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Paul Klee, Static–Dynamic Gradation, 1923
Oil and gouache on paper, bordered with gouache, watercolor, and ink, 381 x 261 mm,
The Berggruen Klee Collection, 1987 (1987.455.12), MoMA, NY.

Another appeal of Klee’s work is the manner in which it appears to be very childlike with a great sense of spontaneity, freedom and simplicity.

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Paul Klee, Ghost Chamber with the Tall Door (New Version), 1925
Sprayed and brushed watercolor, and transferred printing ink on paper, bordered with gouache and ink;,487 x 294 mm
MoMA, NY

Paul Klee’s work practice was fundamentally experimental in terms of technique, expressive use of colour and challenging accepted academic perceptions with regard to art and keeping his work within the realm of the “ordinary”.

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Paul Klee, Comedians’ Handbill, 1938, Gouache on newsprint,
48.6 x 32.1 cm, Location Unstated

Everything vanishes around me, and works are born as if out of the void. Ripe, graphic fruits fall off. My hand has become the obedient instrument of a remote will.

Paul Klee

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© Goff James, Red Circle with Four Red Lines, 2017
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© Goff James, 9, 2017
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Goff James, Box and Red Circle, 2017

Photogram Attributions, Goff James

Copyright (c) 2021 Goff James – All Rights Reserved 

More photography by Goff James

I trust that you find some of these ideas useful within the context of your own photography. Don’t be afraid to experiment and allow different ideas to develop as you go along.

Remember what I referred to in previous articles about taking photos and creating photograms; the same applies to considering your own photos, other photographers’ work as well as applying different artist’s ideas too.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

Experiment! Experiment! Experiment!

Remember there are no right or wrong answers or ways of doing it.

Your photographs are your world.

You can do what you like. 

Don’t worry about the theory and trying to remember everything about how to take or consider how to look at or stage a photograph.

Don’t worry about what you might think is right or wrong in talking about or taking photographs.

 Make mistakes. Laugh. Have funJust enjoy the process.

Happy Photography. 

Thank you for your visit.

I cordially invite you to subscribe to Goff James Art Photography Poetry at goffjamesart.wordpress.com (Doing so will allow you to be notified whenever new content is published on my blog.

Reference Attribution List

http://www.theartstory.org/artist-klee-paul.htm

https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/paul-klee

https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79456

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/tj-clark/at-tate-modern

goffjamesart.wordpress.com

Art Photography Poetry