Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paul Klee by Mike Venezia and Paul Klee by Jill Laidlaw

Last week I reviewed a book about Paul Klee for SLJ. As part of my preparation for writing that review, I read two other children's biographies about Klee.  The Venezia one is part of a series of biographies of world artists called "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists."  They are targeted at early grade children with large font and only a few sentences per page.  They are illustrated with color reproductions of famous artwork surrounded by cartoons.  The people in the cartoons make, often humorous, comments about the artwork.  It is a great series for introducing 2nd or 3rd graders to artists.  (32 p)

The other biography is targeted at a slightly older age group.  It is from a series called "Artists and Their Time" and it gives more historical background than the Venezia.  It was obviously created with report writers in mind and has a glossary, time lines, and lots of extra information boxes on every page.(46 p)

There is a lot of abstract art that I really like and Klee was a pretty typical Abstract artist. In my opinion, an abstract artist has to prove they have the skill and talent to do realistic art before he/she breaks away to do the abstract stuff. Klee was doing good realistic sketches while he was still in high school.  He broke away from that fairly early, and got involved with avant guarde groups from Germany and Russia.  One thing I respect about Klee is that not all his work looks the same.  You see something form Jackson Polluck or Georgia O'Keefe and you know instantly who the artist was.  Klee was always trying something new. I don't like everything he did, but some of it connects with me.

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