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Omega 5 (Traps) is a clear example of the ambiguity of Paul Klee’s oeuvre, which swung from figuration to abstraction, from the real to the imagined. The word Attrappen, which appears in the original title, refers to props used in a stage set, and therefore brings to mind artificial objects made of cardboard.

In 1927, the year the present painting is dated, Klee was at the Bauhaus in Dessau, a period in which his investigations were centred on the geometrical origins of form. His studies on the spatial relationships of objects and on the growth of organic forms were chiefly conducted through his numerous still lifes. He wrote in his essay Ways of Studying Nature, in 1923, “thanks to the consciousness that the object is more than its outward appearance would lead us to think, the object expands inwards beyond appearances, through our knowledge.”

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