Analysis of Paul Klee's Possibilities at Sea

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Design Analysis of Paul Klee's Possibilities at Sea

Artist: Paul Klee
Title: Possibilities At Sea
Size: 24” by 24”
Year: 1932

Line: There is heavy use of contour line and line as symbol. The entire concept and composition are defined primarily through the heavy use of line and linear elements. The boat is constructed from thin red and white lines – the white lines defining the shape of the boat and the red lines providing a supporting structure vertically and horizontally. There’s also a shape that is defined by a contour line around the entire composition. The water is a series of lines, two straight lines and one organic curved expressive line. There are several symbols and shapes placed throughout the painting, two arrows, two circles and two semi-circles. Value: The subtle darkening of the inner shape from the outer edge of the composition has a low contrast but does help creating depth and distance. The overall darkness of the composition helps set the mood and imply a night scene. There is no gradation or change of value within any of the shapes so there is no three-dimensional effect. There are several simple shapes of very light values within the composition creating high contrast and immediately drawing the eye. Shape: There are many instances of geometric and abstract shapes in this painting. The abstract shapes are most prevalent. The boat is a very abstracted shape constructed from thin contour lines and borders on being non-objective. The organic shape of the water is abstract as well as the representation of the wind which is not a visible element in a realistic representation. The arrow shapes also define conceptual elements and are more descriptive of something that is happening within the composition than representative of some object. Spatial Illusion: This painting has a seemingly flat spatial illusion but the composition still creates some spatial illusion by compositional position. The shapes are all flat and rarely overlap. When...
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