The Arrow before the Target Paul Klee Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Paul Klee shows his partiality towards using arrows in his work in The Arrow before the Target.

This artist has a fondness for abstraction and often he combines geometric forms such as triangles with other forms like arrows. He did this in Separation At Evening.

In this painting, Klee uses his contemporary style in a slightly different way. While the general shape of arrows is used, Klee has actually included an element of Realism in the work.

Two flying insects are portrayed as the subjects in this piece. He does not rely solely on indistinguishable forms to make his topic appeal to the viewers who will look at his work for inspiration.

Klee likes using watercolours but in this piece, he used several media. This was completed with an oil transfer drawing as well as his favourite watercolour pigments. His use of paper allows the pigments to be displayed in a different way, as they react differently than another surface would.

This theme can be described as a bit of fantasy as the viewer is not completely sure of what type of flying creatures are depicted. the whole backdrop has a space like feel to it and this is augmented with the use of pale pink colours, approximating a rocky landscape.

The war seems to have changed Klee's work. He explored lots of different ideas prior to the 1920s but as war drew closer and the broader society was affected by it on a wider lever, he explored Cubism and Abstract art in greater depth. The Arrow before the Target was completed in 1921 and his use of Realism here is similar to that seen in his painting of Blossoms In The Night.

Klee did not believe that artists were supposed to show things as they were. he was never focused on reproducing things as exact photographic images. Instead, he worked hard to make what he saw underneath the surface of each object visible.

He used colours to interpret his emotions and explore each concept in a new way. Much of his work could either be classified as fantasy or humorous. In fact, he had a definite preference for themes which stretched the boundaries of things that he saw every day.