Paul Klee — L’ironie à l’œuvre



Paul Klee
L’ironie à l’œuvre

Past: April 6 → August 1, 2016

The Centre Pompidou is proposing a journey through the work of a singular figure in modernity and one of the 20th century’s most iconic artists: Paul Klee. This is the first major retrospective in France since the 1969 exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne.


Featuring around two hundred and fifty works loaned by the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern and various major international and private collections, this retrospective casts a fresh look on Klee’s work. It sheds light on the way he used irony through an approach originating in the early German Romanticism, consisting in a constant shift between a satire and the affirmation of an absolute, finite and infinite, real and ideal. In this respect, Klee’s use of irony is inspired by the philosopher Friedrich Schlegel: “Everything in it must be a joke, and everything must be serious: everything must be offered up with an open heart, and profoundly concealed.” This new approach also explores Klee’s relationship with his peers and the artistic movements of his time.

The exhibition is divided into seven thematic sections highlighting each stage in Klee’s artistic development: “Satirical beginnings” (the early years); “Cubism”; “Mechanical theatre” (in line with Dada and Surrealism); “Constructivism” (the Bauhaus years in Dessau); “Looking back” (the 1930’s); “Picasso” (Klee’s reaction after the Picasso retrospective in Zurich in 1932); and “The crisis years” (marked by Nazi policies, war and illness).

04 Beaubourg Zoom in 04 Beaubourg Zoom out

Place Georges Pompidou

75004 Paris

T. 01 44 78 12 33 — F. 01 44 78 16 73

Hôtel de Ville

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 11 AM – 9 PM
Late night on Thursday until 11 PM
ATTENTION : A compter du samedi 17 octobre 2020, tous les espaces du Centre Pompidou (les Galeries, le Musée, la Bpi, les salles de spectacles et de cinéma) fermeront à 20h. Les derniers accès aux expositions se feront à 18h.

Admission fee

Full rate €14.00 — Concessions €11.00

Gratuit pour les moins de 18 ans, billet exonéré pour les moins de 26 ans. Et pour tout le monde, les premiers dimanches du mois.

Venue schedule

The artist

  • Paul Klee