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"The aim of life is living creatures. The aim of art is living creations..." - Joseph Albers. Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a painter, designer, writer and teacher widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in twentieth century art. From 1923 to 1933, he taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, emigrating to the United States when the school was closed by the Nazis. There he taught at Black Mountain College and Yale University, deeply influencing generations of American artists. "Poems and Drawings" was first published in 1958 and was a project that was very important to Albers. In it, he creates parallel and complementary forms in words and line that would appear deceptively simple until they began to disclose their hidden meanings. 'Just as the drawings have a magical power to reverse themselves in all directions,' the blurb to the first edition ran, 'so the dialectic of this poetry, often disarmingly epigrammatic, depends on the power of each word to call forth its opposite.' By the simplest, most disciplined means Albers attempted to penetrate to the very core of the meaning of art and life. The poems were printed in both German and English with Albers himself either translating or approving the translation of every poem. Printed initially in an edition of only 500 copies and long unavailable, this re-publication makes Albers' unique creation available for a new generation of readers. The Tate edition of "Poems and Drawings" has, in addition to the original, a new introduction by Nicholas Fox-Webber, an internationally recognised authority on Albers and the Director of the Anni and Josef Albers Foundation. The introduction includes previously unpublished material by Albers.
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