It’s not unusual to hear sotto voce whispers that the architecture at the Zentrum Paul Klee is more impressive than the contents of its permanent collection. It’s true that the 150m-long Renzo Piano-designed edifice, with its undulating form and serpentine character is striking, but so too are the artworks of the vastly influential Paul Klee. And how many museums can lay claim to the fact that the artists for which the place is named is buried just nearby, in this case at Schosshaldenfriedhof?
Paul Klee was born in Bern Canton in 1879 to a German father and Swiss mother. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich before becoming a member of Der Blaue Reiter. Hard to categorize, his work has been linked to Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism. In 1937 more than 100 of his works were exhibited by the Nazis as ‘Degenerate Art’ (he had left Germany in 1933 for Switzerland). He died there in 1940, a German citizen, but was granted Swiss citizenship shortly after his death.
Some 4000 of his works are held in the center and are displayed on a rotating basis. Regular temporary exhibitions also take place here.
To get here, take bus 12 to Zentrum Paul Klee from Bubenbergplatz in the city center.