Art: Art-for-My-Sake

In 1902, when the late Paul Klee was 23 and a promising Swiss painter, he decided to start all over again. "I want to be as though newborn," he wrote in his journal, "knowing nothing about Europe...." Part of his new birth was to unlearn all the techniques he had acquired for making "acceptable" pictures.

Klee, wanting to paint like children, knew that children paint not to make beautiful pictures, but simply for the fun of picturing what they feel—art-for-my-sake. For grownups who have little childhood left in them, Klee's work, like children's, is something pretty hard to understand.

Last week an exhibition...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!