Dennis J. Schmidt on what Heidegger saw in Klee.
In his notes, Heidegger concedes that the framework of "The Origin of the Work of Art," which, he says, thinks from out of works of art of the past, cannot account for this productive element that is to be seen in Klee's work. Consequently, rather than turning to "The Origin of the Work of Art" to think through what appears as this free motion, this genesis, in these paintings, Heidegger turns instead to his own later notion of Ereignis: "No longer should future art be handed over to the setting up of world and the production of earth, as was thematized in the work of art essay: rather, the bringing forth of relations from out of the happening of the fugue." By thinking the artwork from out of his own notion of Ereignis, Heidegger is able to say that "in this 'production' objects do not need to disappear, but as such [as objects] they step back into a world that is to be thought from out of Ereignis." This reinforces Heidegger's long-standing contention that abstract art need not be understood as escaping the metaphysical character of representational painting. It is not the mere absence of the object that lets the movement of genesis be seen. The object does not "need" to disappear; in fact, the object is not at all the issue; it is, in some sense, simply a possible distraction. So, in the end one must say that it is possible, indeed just as possible for representational painting as for abstraction, to render this genesis visible. This is so much the case that one must say that in the sense of this emergence, of the painting as a giving birth, that has always defined the height of painting's achievement. This emergence out of that which grants relations, out of Ereignis, this production that Klee himself refers to as a relation to genesis, is, for Heidegger, what renders Klee's work beautiful--one should add, it is this that defines the character of beauty in all painting: "Where does the height and the depth of being hide itself for Klee? The beautiful--Ereignis und Erblickung." This means of course that beauty is not, as Kant argued, a matter of the harmony of the faculties, nor is it a matter of the representation or the reproduction of objects: "The less the object is indicated--the more appearing; the whole world comes along" (emphasis added). Rather, beauty is a matter of this "appearing," this "more appearing," "more shining."