Willi Baumeister One of the most important German artists of the twentieth century, Willi Baumeister (1889–1955) was denounced as a “degenerate artist” by the Nazis and chose inner emigration. ... weiterlesenThus not well known in English-speaking countries, his artistic production spanned his early figural works, constructivist wall pictures, and sober sports and machine imagery to his later wide-ranging abstraction, works for which he became widely recognized as the father of German abstract painting following World War II. Although he wrote and published on art throughout his career, this is the first time that his most significant writings have been translated into English. Baumeister is known for his profound belief in the autonomy of art and the artist and for his inexhaustible thirst for exploring elemental sources of artistic form. Written during World War II from 1943 to 1944 and first published in 1947, The Unknown in Art presents Baumeister’s principles of art, based on the notion that the true artist is not a copyist of material reality but a discoverer of new values as his works of art bring the previously unknown into our visual repertoire. He not only championed an art that was universally relevant and artistic freedom that embodied a responsibility toward humanity, but also believed in nature as the starting point of all art. With these writings Baumeister made a vital contribution to the discussion of modern art as presented by fellow artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Theo van Doesburg, and El Lissitzky. This English translation of Das Unbekannte in der Kunst derives from the 1988 edition, edited by René Hirner.