Wald-Hexen, 1938

Miami Beach 2015
Fondation Beyeler
Painting
Oil on paper on burlap
99.0 x 74.0 Size (cm)
39.0 x 29.1 Size (in)
Klee’s Wald-Hexen (Forest witches) ranks among the most impressive works of his final years. Over an olive-green ground, the heavy lines so typical of Klee’s late œuvre form a lattice that meanders across the entire surface of the picture and – in a new departure – even seems to extend beyond its edges. Out of diverse, not directly related fragments of these lineaments, the figures of two ‘witches’ gradually crystallize before our eyes. Standing on the right is a naked figure, of whom we can make out the legs, belly, breasts and head, including the face. The figure on the left also shows her face, while her legs, clad in a dress, execute a dance step. Although the mysterious female figures are made easier to locate by some of the fiery red colour zones surrounding the dark lines, Klee shows the witches as if in a vision, one that threatens to vanish at any moment into the camouflaging confusion of the dense vegetation of heavy lines.