Twittering Machine (1922) by Paul Klee

Twittering Machine - Klee, Paul - 1922 - 3

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Artwork Information

TitleTwittering Machine
ArtistPaul Klee
Mediumgouache,ink,Watercolor on Paper
Dimensions63.8 x 48.1 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US
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About Twittering Machine

Paul Klee’s 1922 artwork “Twittering Machine” is a watercolor and pen and ink oil transfer on paper. The painting features a group of loosely sketched birds perched on a wire or branch connected to a hand-crank, blending biology and machinery. Klee’s work demonstrates how humans have taken movement and song from nature and made them activities of enslavement by turning them against it. This painting is an oil transfer of watercolor, pen, and ink on paper.

The machine age was embraced by many artists including those at the Bauhaus School where Klee was a professor. In this period, machine potential was viewed positively as can be seen in his artwork. The Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie exhibited “Twittering Machine,” which illustrates the interplay between man-made devices and living organisms through its depiction of birds that become part of the mechanical structure.

Reading Art article by Christopher P Jones discusses Twittering Machine, which became an iconic piece both within the realm of modernism as well as in popular culture today. With its blend of biological themes with mechanical machinery concepts, Twittering Machine serves as an example for artistic pieces that demonstrate themes such as industrialization and urbanization during the early 20th century.

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