This book is simply great - I recommend it highly to any serious student of art. It is one of the classics of modern art, of interest to artists, teachers, students, theoreticians, historians, and fans of Paul Klee. Pedagogical Sketchbook is the distilled essence of Klee's concepts of art production. Created in 1923 as a teaching tool for his students at the Bauhaus, it was the second of fourteen Bauhaus Books edited by Walter Gropius and L. Moholy-Nagy. First published in England in 1953 and the United States in 1960, it has been an important influence on generations of practicing artists and theoreticians.
An abstraction of his ideas on teaching and creating art, it can sometimes be difficult to follow, since it assumes that some narrative and examples will be added during classes. However, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy writes a narrative introduction that explores Paul Klee's aesthetic ideas related to teaching, and a concluding note with brief suggestions as to how the sketchbook can be used for teaching or artistic research.
Titled " Initial Plan for a Section of the Theoretical Instruction at the German Bauhaus", this book is a set of working notes that are the basis for art instruction at the Bauhaus - you can almost see Paul Klee presenting the ideas in a class. Beginning with the primary graphic element of a point moving forward to create a line, it is a course on how to make art based on Klee's deeply considered artistic process. It consists of step-by-step lessons, with abstract written concepts that analyze artistic process, and drawings that are examples of how those ideas can be put into practice.
Although it was based on the then-current 2D graphic arts of painting, drawing, and printmaking, it is also valuable for current artists working in time based and interactive forms since it considers aesthetics and structure as the result of process. In a relatively short space, it investigates a wide range of practical and conceptual approaches to art making, from line, to plane, to structure and composition, to materials, physics, symbols, and motion. Its well-considered concepts enable artists of any aesthetic persuasion to apply its ideas and lessons to their own work. It requires concentration to understand, but it is truly worth the effort.