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Work of the Week: Fleeing Ghost

With its head turned over its shoulder and arms bent protectively over its head and chest, this ghost appears more frightened than frightening. The economically rendered specter by Swiss artist Paul Klee is, after all, “fleeing,” and this fretful flight is given energy and urgency by the repetition of dynamic horizontal lines as well as the propulsive arrow at the bottom of the canvas. A believer in transcendentalism, Klee asserted that “the visible world is merely an isolated case in relation to the universe, and that there are many more other, latent realities.” Dreamlike, simple, and enchanted images like Fleeing Ghost demonstrate how effectively Klee was able to give form to these unrealized realms of existence.

See Klee’s Fleeing Ghost and other works of international modern art in Gallery 393.

Paul Klee. Fleeing Ghost, 1929. Bequest of Claire Zeisler. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn