For many years I have thought that cities are complex systems and they defy simple models that enable us predict their future. In fact my book is all about how we cannot predict their future but how we can only invent it – and we cannot predict what we invent? Cities can look chaotic but they also reveal order and the great puzzle is to disentangle their meaning.
The picture used for the cover, in my interpretation, encapsulates this kind of order-disorder. It was produced in 1927 by the great modernist Paul Klee and is entitled: Partie aus G (Part of G). Eva Wiederkehr Sladeczek who is Head of Archive and Documentation at Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern tells me that: “The watercolour belongs to a series of works referring to Klee’s travel to southern France (Porquerolles Island and Corsica Island) in 1927.” She adds that: “Maybe the letter G. refers to a certain place he visited. There are other works with similar titles and it is not always possible to identify the place/town.” Maybe we will never know but he produced some brilliant cityscapes during his life. Part of Gwas produced with oil transfer drawing and watercolour on paper on cardboard. It is surrealistic to a degree which reflects the dilemmas and conundrums that my book attempts to illustrate if not clarify. A wonderful picture. What is more, it is in the public domain.
Here is what Wikipedia says about him and I quote: Paul Klee (18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940) was a Swiss-German artist. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Klee was a natural draftsman who experimented with and eventually deeply explored color theory, writing about it extensively; his lectures Writings on Form and Design Theory (Schriften zur Form und Gestaltungslehre), published in English as the Paul Klee Notebooks, are held to be as important for modern art as Leonardo da Vinci’s A Treatise on Painting for the Renaissance. He and his colleague, Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky, both taught at the Bauhaus school of art, design and architecture. His works reflect his dry humor and his sometimes childlike perspective, his personal moods and beliefs, and his musicality