Friday, January 17, 2014

Arty Farty Friday ~ Klee and Carroll - Odd Couple

Intending to write a line or two about Paul Klee, his art and his natal chart, I searched for information. Lewis Carroll kept coming to mind.

Thinking about Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky, for instance, or any part of the Alice stories, and looking at a Klee painting arouses in me similar sensations: curiosity mixed with puzzlement! There's a child-like feel with a strong indication that there's more to be found just under the surface.
Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch! ....
(From Jabberwocky)

“You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.”

“The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday-but never jam today
It must come sometime to jam today, Alice objected
No it can't said the Queen It's jam every other day. Today isn't any other day, you know”

“The time has come
The walrus said
To talk of many things:
Of shoes- and ships-
And sealing wax-
Of cabbages and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings.”

― From Alice in Wonderland

Etc. etc.

From Acquavella Galleries:
Klee is a difficult artist to categorize, for he incorporated into his generally small-scale paintings, drawings and watercolors, allusions to dreams, music and poetry with a complex language of symbols and signs of arrows, letters, words, commas, and musical signs in a form of writing. He especially valued the art of children, for he felt they revealed the mysteries of the creative process, relying on signs for things in the natural world............ Rather than describing an object, person or place in traditional pictorial forms, Klee gave us a personal sign system in works that are abstract and figurative at the same time.
(Personal sign system? - Sounds familiar!)

I discovered that Klee was heavily influenced by Transcendentalism, and by the art of children - strange combination. Paul Klee and Lewis Carroll both had "spiritual" connections, one with transcendentalism, the other with the church, for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was an Anglican clergyman, as well as an author and mathematician.

I've looked at natal charts for both these men using data from, not expecting to see any overall similarity in the two charts, but searching for something to account for the odd feeling I have about them.

If times of birth are accurate, the two men have reversed Sun/ascendant combinations. Klee Sagittarius Sun, Aquarius rising, Carroll Aquarius Sun, Sagittarius rising. I guess that factor alone might send out a sense of similarity?

Both men have Uranus inconjunct Saturn.
Klee - Uranus 9 Virgo, Saturn 9 Aries.
Carroll - Uranus 14 Aquarius, Saturn 14 Virgo.

Saturn inconjunct Uranus = rebellion competing with, yet not understanding, discipline. The new trying to find a way through old structures and restrictions which it fails to understand. The established order struggling to get to grips with new ideas. Avant garde meets status quo - and vice versa.

Lewis Carroll's Aquarius Sun underlined a rebellious, and somewhat eccentric streak in his naure. Klee's Sagittarius Sun inclined him to a more philosophical approach, while still trying to forge ahead into "the new". Both writer and artist were certainly treading new paths in their respective arts, and probably met resistance, criticism and, in Lewis Carroll's case gossip, along the way.

There are two other odd similarities in the charts. I'm not sure whether these are significant enough to mention...but Klee's Saturn is at 9.00 Aries, Carroll's Pluto is at 8.52 Aries. Klee's Sun at 26.14 Sagittarius, Carroll's Mars at 25.55 Sagittarius. Those degrees ARE within the same decan and duad of Aries and Sagittarius. In particular, Saturn or Pluto in the first decan of Aries in both charts might point to the influence of children in the work of both these men. First decan of the first zodiac sign indicating youth, springtime, new life ?


LB said...

Twilight ~ Keeping in mind I'm no expert and know almost nothing about art (other than what I like!), I'd have to agree, there's definitely a similarity between the two artists. For me it comes across as sort of an intellectually abstract obsession with details, almost like a delirium you might experience during a fever (Aries), when you go over and over, and over something trying to figure it out, hoping to get it just right (Virgo) so you can finally break free (Uranus) - but NEVER do. So the matter remains unresolvable, a hellish torment that lasts until you finally wake but still remember.:( In comparing the two artists' Uranus-Saturn quincunxes (involving Virgo and Aries), you might be on to something, Twilight.

Based on the few examples you've shown, I do actually kind of like some of Klee's work, which feels calmer, more centered and also a bit more hopeful in a spiritual sense (Moon-Jupiter in Pisces) with a wider point of view (Mercury in Sag).

I was never a fan of Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland", don't think I ever sat through a complete reading of the book or a showing of the play or movie. The story was way too cold, claustrophobic and nightmarish for me as a child and doesn't appeal much more as an adult, though I admit Carroll -whose Sun is exactly conjunct my 5th house Moon and square my placements in Scorpio- was very creative and clever.

“You used to be much more..."muchier." You've lost your muchness.” Or, “I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” What great lines.:)

Did you study art, Twilight or are you a self-taught connoisseur?

Twilight said...

LB ~ Yes, good description for Klee's art, a lot of it does remind me of something seen through a weird dreamy feverish delirium. :-)
I've always been curious about it but never keen to have any of it hanging on my walls. I do enjoy Lewis Carroll's writings though, but acknowledge that they can be an acquired taste, and are not for the very young.

Thanks for your thoughts on the astrology here. I'm glad I don't seem to be totally off the map and "away with the fairies". ;-)

I didn't study art - no. I've had several friends and loved ones who did though, so some of the appreciation has rubbed off on me I guess. I was useless at painting and drawing myself, but have always had an interest in such things as fashion, general design etc....but most women do at some point I suppose.

DC said...

INTERESTING!!...the decans and duads....had forgotten all about those gems.

Twilight said...

DC ~ The teeny-tinies are a bit deeper than I usually like to delve, but thought I'd dig 'em out for once.

LB said...

Twilight ~ I've only had one friend who was interested enough to study and discuss art. She had a museum membership and used to invite me along to the various exhibits. Her Gemini Moon was in the 12th.:)

Much as I love to create, there's not much chance any of *my* paintings will ever end up in a museum! :) I do have a relative though (or maybe I should say, an "ancestor") whose artwork hangs in a number of museums. I remembered hearing his name mentioned as a child and followed up when I began doing genealogy research. He was a close relative of my grandfather, who was also a talented artist, just not a famous one.

Design is a form of art, that's for sure. I suspect you're very creative.:)

mike said...

As you indicate, Twilight, their Saturn-Uranus inconjunct, likewise each has their Saturn trined by Mercury.

Love your "fevered nightmare" description, LB! LOL Fortunately, I've not had any that resemble Klee's work!

I think of Klee's work as something describing outerspace and its creatures.

I saw the Walt Disney animated version of "Alice in Wonderland" as a child many tended to frighten me and consequently, didn't have the fortitude to actually read the book. I very much appreciate Carroll's writing as an adult and I have an entirely different take on "Alice" than I did as a child. As a child, I took it very superficially and didn't comprehend the depth.

Carroll's "Alice" reminds me of the Dr.Seuss style...a bit crazy, frenetic, nonsensical.

LB said...

mike ~ Lucky you, you've never had a nightmare resembling Klee's art.:) I don't know though, some of my own feverish nightmares may have been worse!

After reading both your and Twilight's thoughts, it may be time for me to give "Alice" another chance. Similar to Dr. Seuss, eh? Don't know about that but I do know I LOVE(D) the Dr. Seuss series - so much so I still own a couple of his books and insisted on reading them to my poor, deprived husband a few years back. Somehow or other he managed to grow up without ever having read any of them. During the early 60's, I belonged to a book club, and I still remember how excited I used to get every time one of his new books arrived.

mike (again) said...

“We're all a little weird and life's a little weird. And when we find someone who's weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Dr. Seuss

Twilight said...

LB ~ Oh - that's exciting! Far as I know all my own ancestors were as useless as I am with pen or brish in hand - apart from one of Dad's brothers who was a self-employed painter and decorator (doesn't really count!) Husband has the arty streak and several of his family inherited it too.

All I've created has been some mild chaos from time to time

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, Klee's work is definitely other-worldly in a pre-New-Agey way.

I didn't even know who Dr Seuss was until I arrived in the USA - so I had a deprived childhood on that score. :-)

(again) ~ LOL - Dr Seuss's quote reminds me of a very old Yorkshire saying I've repeated to Himself before now:

"All t'world's queer save thee an' me - an' even thee's a bit queer"