Klee and America

The Menil Collection
1533 Sul Ross Street
October 6, 2006–January 14, 2007

Neue Galerie New York
1048 Fifth Avenue
March 9–May 22, 2006

The Phillips Collection
1600 21st Street NW
June 16–September 10, 2006

Curated by Josef Helfenstein

Walter Benjamin famously interpreted Klee's Angelus Novus, 1920, as a figure that turns toward the past while history pushes forward. Similarly, “Klee and America” (organized by Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection) builds on the success of MoMA's 1987 retrospective and the collection-specific “Paul Klee at the Guggenheim Museum” in 1993, while shedding new light on the Swiss painter's legacy in the US. Through more than sixty oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings, as well as documentary material on influential collectors like Alfred Barr and Galka Scheyer, the exhibition focuses on the artist's increasing popularity in America during the late '30s and '40s, after Hitler's campaign against “degenerate” art caused the European market for his work to collapse.

Travels to the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, June 16–Sept. 10; Menil Collection, Houston, Oct. 6, 2006–Jan. 14, 2007.