During his long and productive career, Alfred Kubin made drawings and lithographs for more than 170 books. Immer und Immer (Again and again) is the second of two works by poet Max Roden that he illustrated, and one of only twenty-two books for which he made lithographs rather than ink drawings, his preferred medium.
Roden's poem catalogues the evil that people inflict upon one another. Kubin's fantastic and eerie images capture the spirit of Roden's verse without strictly following the text and without inhabiting any specific time or place. The title page depicts a screaming man behind a barbed-wire fence in a seemingly contemporary scene, while the army marching across the next image, with standards flying and trumpets blaring, appears as if from a faraway time. On another page, disembodied Medusa heads fly over a walled city. The book closes with Kubin's picture of a bleeding heart, impaled on a bayonet.
Immer und Immer was one of the last books published by Vienna's Johannes-Presse, which was founded in 1924 by the gallerist Otto Nirenstein, before the firm was "Aryanized" when the Nazis annexed Austria in 1938.
Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.