Tuesday, 5 January 2010


'Fire in the Evening', is the title of this 1929 Paul Klee. Is that striking red square the setting sun? Is that 'T' a tree? (Are the red stripes and squares blood? Is the central shadow a scaffold? Or a cross?) Hard to avoid reading for content, you see. But this image isn't about content in the least: or if you insist on me being precise, it has very little to do with content. I take it to be a study in dusk horizontals, something (a) appropriate to dusk, when the levels of light are tuned by the great horizontal we call the horizon, but also (b) in smart, dynamic tension with the title. Fire burns vertically, with upwards leaping flames. Sunset gleams horizontally. This picture is fascinated by the contrast of those two lines of axis, I think.

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