Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia by Roger BenjaminKandinsky and Klee in Tunisia by Roger Benjamin

Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia

byRoger Benjamin, Cristina Ashjian

Hardcover | August 18, 2015

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 329 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Paul Klee experienced his 1914 trip to Tunisia as a major breakthrough for his art: "Color and I are one,” he famously wrote. "I am a painter.”Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisiasets the scene for Klee’s breakthrough with a close study of the parallel voyage undertaken in 1904–5 by Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, who would later become Klee's friends. This artist couple, then at an early stage in their celebrated careers, produced a rich body of painting and photography known only to specialists. Paul Klee’s 1914 trip with August Macke and Louis Moilliet, in contrast, is a vaunted convergence of cubism and the exotic. Roger Benjamin refigures these two seminal voyages in terms of colonial culture and politics, the fabric of ancient Tunisian cities, visual ethnography, and the tourist photograph. The book looks closely at the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Hammamet, and Kairouan to flesh out a profound confrontation between European high modernism and the wealth of Islamic lifeways and architecture.Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisiaoffers a new understanding of how the European avant-garde was formed in dialogue with cultural difference.
Roger Benjaminis Professor of Art History at the University of Sydney. His notable publications include the prize-winningOrientalist Aesthetics: Art, Colonialism, and French North Africa, 1880–1930. In 1995 he co-curatedMatissefor the Queensland Art Gallery, and in 1997 his exhibitionOrientalism: Delacroix to Kleewas held at the Art Ga...
Title:Kandinsky and Klee in TunisiaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:248 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.77 inPublished:August 18, 2015Publisher:UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520283651

ISBN - 13:9780520283657


Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Revisiting Kairouan

Part 1: Kandinsky and Munter in Tunisia
1. "Ella” and "Wassi”: The Lovers as Tourists
2. Kandinsky and the Ethno-Decorative: Working Negroes
3. Hotel Saint Georges and the Terrain Vague
4. Tunisian Decorative Art and the Belvedere Park
5. Modern Carthage
6. Carnivals and Fantasias
7. Open Space: Mosques and Marabouts
8. Compressed Space: Alleys and Arches
9. Arab City: Views of Sousse and Kairouan
10. Memories of the Maghreb and Arab Cemetery, 1909

Part 2: Klee, Macke, and Moilliet in Tunisia
11. Munich–Tunis: A Bildungsreise
12. Pictures of Tunis, April 1914
13. The "European Colony” of St. Germain
14. A Crystalline Hammamet
15. The Holy City of Kairouan
16. S idi Sahabi and L’art populaire
17. The Walls of Kairouan
18. Mosque of the Sabers
19. North African Resonances, 1914–1924
20. Conclusion: Navigating Colonial Cultures

Select Bibliography
List of Illustrations

Editorial Reviews

"The sensitive exploration of the subject, the wide range of sources consulted, the fieldwork carried out, and Benjamin’s captivating and accessible writing make this book essential reading for anyone who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the art inspired by these two journeys and of the experiences and cultural encounters provided for the artists concerned."