Paul Klee’s Unbound Creativity

Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 119)


Does creativity just happen? Is it self-generated? These questions bring about more questions, some of which can be answered by looking at the creative imagination of the artists themselves, how they explain and value their own artworks. A univocal definition of creativity is problematic, since it manifests itself at different levels and its range is potentially unlimited. Being a process, imaginative creativity is in flux.

Following Margaret Boden, I distinguish three types of creativity: combinational (associations of ideas), exploratory (changes in conceptual space), and transformational, the highest and most radical form. Specifically, Paul Klee’s art includes all these forms leading to a unique, comprehensive world-view in which the cosmos shapes a universe filled with humans and angels, the moon and the earth. Klee transforms these “objects” by combining harmony and the unpredictable, whereby uniformity is ruled out. Out of this “swerve” (clinamen), the most extraordinary imaginative paintings come into view. By imaginatively transforming the human figure, Klee reveals the full import of what the cosmic fullness of being (pleroma) can bring to art.


Creative imagination Plenitude Subjectivity Perception Linearism (or linearity) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent ScholarNew YorkUSA

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