76 
jokes, turns round, hops away, flaps her arms like a bird’s wings, turns round 
again and comes towards me. Another time she offers me a large bunch of 
grapes; the grapes are weeping eyes. With clear eyes she meets my muddled 
gaze. She had dreams that she never wanted to tell me about. She hid them 
from me behind exaggerated, boisterous jokes. She went round in a circle and 
imitated a trumpeter blowing with all his might yet producing no sound, and 
nothing could persuade her to tell me her dream. 
Am I dreaming when I see Sophie bright and silent in the depths of a white 
blossom of a pure white star? Am I dreaming when I hear Sophie speaking 
and we converse? Am I dreaming when I see Sophie as a dead woman lovely 
and living? Memory and dream flow together like mighty streams. What hap 
pens in them is eternal. But what happens in the unreal world of the day, is 
full of rude snares and is transitory. And that is why Sophie behaved with 
severity and determination in this world. She never lost herself in the snares 
of unreality. The world of memory and dream is the real world. It is related 
to art, which is fashioned at the edge of earthly unreality, [illustration 19] 
And so the circle closed 
Between 1908 and 1910 I made my first attempts to transcend inherited art 
forms, inherited prejudices. This was a time of torment. I was living in soli 
tude between Weggis and Greppen in Switzerland, at the foot of the Rigi. 
In winter I saw no one for months. I read, sketched and looked out of the 
window of my little room into the mountains immersed in snowclouds. It 
was an abstract landscape that surrounded me. I had leisure for philosophiz 
ing. In December 1915 in Zurich, I met Sophie Taeuber, who had already 
liberated herself from traditional art. In our work, we first suppressed the 
playful and the charming. We also regarded the personal as burdensome and 
useless, since it had grown in a rigid lifeless world. We searched for new 
materials, which were not weighted down with tradition. Individually and 
in common we embroidered, wove, painted, pasted geometric, static pictures. 
Impersonal, severe structures of surfaces and colors arose. All accident was 
excluded. No spots, tears, fibres, imprécisions, should disturb the clarity of 
our work. For our paper pictures we even discarded the scissors with which 
we had at first cut them out, since they too readily betrayed the life of the 
hand. From this time on we used a paper-cutting machine. In the embroi 
deries, woven fabrics, paintings, collages that we did together, we humbly 
strove to approach the pure radiance of reality. I should like to call these works 
the art of silence. This art turns from the outward world of silence to inner
	        
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