Josef Albers

German (1888 - 1976)
Josef Albers Homage to the Square: R-NW IV 1966 © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / DACS 2018.

Biography

Born 1888
Died 1976
Nationality German
Birth place Bottrop
Death place New Haven

Albers was born in Germany and taught at the Bauhaus art school, alongside Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Wassily Kandinsky and others. He emigrated to the USA in 1933, after the Nazis closed the Bauhaus. In America Albers taught at the influential Black Mountain College until 1949 and later became the head of the design department at Yale University. Both Albers's art and teaching focused on the properties of colour, explored through strictly geometric, abstract compositions. His theoretical writings on the role of colour in painting - how it advances or recedes, how one affects another - have been highly influential.

Glossary terms

  • An influential German school of art and design founded in Dessau in 1919 under the architect Walter Gropius. It was based on workshop training rather than academic studios, and is celebrated for its functional design.

  • A German Expressionist group founded in Munich in 1911 by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc. Its membership, who shared an interest in expressing a spiritual dimension in painting, featured in an almanac of the same name published in 1912. The group dispersed with the onset of the First World War.