During the First World War, Klee was conscripted into the army in 1916. Fortunately, he was spared from being deployed to the front and was able to continue to devote himself to art.
Paul Klee at the Bauhaus
Paul Klee was appointed to the Bauhaus in Weimar by Walter Gropius in 1920. Having accepted the invitation, Klee led the bookbinding workshop from 1921 to 1925 and the metal workshop from 1922. Klee’s first solo exhibition opened in the USA at the beginning of 1924. In the same year, Paul Klee, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, and Alexej von Jawlensky founded the artists’ group Die Blaue Vier in Weimar, which they had been planning since 1919. Galka Scheyer acted as the group’s agent. When the Bauhaus moved to Dessau in 1925, Paul Klee and his family followed in 1926. From 1927 to 1930 he taught the free painting class there. His theory of pictorial form had a lasting influence on the work at the Bauhaus.
Paul Klee’s Late Work
In 1931 Klee took up a professorship at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. After the National Socialists came to power in 1933, however, he was dismissed without notice and his art was declared “degenerate.” He subsequently emigrated to Switzerland with his family. In 1935 the Kunsthalle Bern showed a major retrospective of his work. In the same year, the artist fell seriously ill. It was not until 1937 that the artist had another productive creative phase. His late work in the following three years was remarkable. He came to terms with his poor health through his depiction of suffering figures. Paul Klee died during a stay at a health resort in Muralto on June 29, 1940. Throughout his life, Paul Klee’s aim was for his paintings to communicate through color, forms, and lines. Klee left behind an œuvre of about 9,000 works; 1,000 of these were created during the last five years of his life.