Theory of modern art

A film by Benoît Labourdette (3’05s, 2019).
12 March 2019. Published by Benoît Labourdette.

The functions and necessities of art, which is not a luxury, but life and our very nature. Quotes from Paul Klee.

Reproduction of Paul Klee’s quotes

Theory of modern art

by Paul Klee, 1956
Denoël Publishing, 1964, 1985, for French translation
Editing and translations by Pierre-Henri Gonthier

“Art does not reproduce the visible; it makes visible.”

“Dialogue with nature remains a condition for the artist sine qua non. The artist is man; he himself is nature, a piece of nature in the natural area.”

“We build and build all the time, but intuition continues to be a good thing. We can do a lot without her, but not everything.”

“The creative force escapes any denomination, it ultimately remains an unspeakable mystery.”

“We are responsible for this force ourselves to the last atom of marrow.”

“We must in any case reveal this strength, manifest it in its functions as it manifests itself in us.”

“United with matter, it must take shape, become form, reality.”

Paul Klee

“Paul Klee (1879-1940) is one of those privileged people in the West who have given the art world the new spiritual orientation that is missing today where religions seem to be going bankrupt.” (Antoni Tàpies)


Kaleidoscope offers a very “organic” vision. As a visual metaphor of cell division, it opens up a field of perceptions and emotions, far beyond the ornamental it might seem at first glance. This figure has always concerned me, I offer you cinematic explorations.