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Les Klee du paradis - Paul Klee in the Collections of the Nationalgalerie

05.12.2013 to 02.11.2014
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

The idea of presenting an exhibition with the title 'Les Klee du paradis’ originates from the art dealer and collector Heinz Berggruen (1914-2007) himself. Paul Klee was one the collector’s favourite artists. Represented by some 70 works in the collection, he stands as one of the main protagonists of the Museum Berggruen, along with Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Alberto Giacometti.

It is much less widely known that Dieter Scharf (1926-2001) was also an avid collector of the artist’s works. As a result, the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg that he built up now includes over 30 works by Paul Klee, which form an interesting counterpart to Heinz Berggruen’s Klee collection. Heinz Berggruen mainly acquired works dating from Klee’s time as a teacher at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau, while Dieter Scharf was particularly drawn to Klee’s early, Symbolist-inspired works, as well as his late work.

The temporary merger of these two significant collections is now on show at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg, with a few additions of other works by Klee from the Neue Nationalgalerie.

'Les Klee du paradis’ means 'The Klees of paradise’. At the same time, the name 'Klee’ sounds similar to the French word for 'key’ (clé). This homage to Heinz Berggruen, who was born in Berlin 100 years ago on 6 January 1914, thus promises to hold the 'the keys to paradise’.

Paul Cézanne, Young girl with loose hair, c. 1873/1874, oil on canvas
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen, Leihgabe aus Privatbesitz / Jens Ziehe

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