Josef Albers

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Albers, Josef

(yō`zĕf äl`bĕrs), 1888–1976, German-American painter, printmaker, designer, and teacher, b. Bottrop, Germany. After working at the BauhausBauhaus
, artists' collective and school of art and architecture in Germany (1919–33). The Bauhaus revolutionized art training by combining the teaching of classic arts with the study of crafts.
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 (1920–33), Albers and his wife, the textile designer and weaver Anni Albers, emigrated to the United States when Hitler came to power. Albers taught throughout the Americas and Europe, headed the art department (1933–49) and was rector (1941–49) at Black Mountain CollegeBlack Mountain College,
former coeducational liberal arts college at Black Mountain, N.C., near Asheville. Founded (1933) by John Rice, also the school's first rector (1933–40), on the progressive education principles of John Dewey, it placed a strong emphasis on the arts.
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, and was director of the Yale School of Art (1950–58), where he was responsible for major innovations in art education. An extremely versatile artist, he is best known for his Homage to the Square, a series of paintings and prints begun in 1949. These serene works, quasiconcentric squares of subtly related colors, form an extensive examination of color properties.


See his Interaction of Color (1963); studies by E. Gomringer (1968) and W. Spies (1971).

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Albers, Josef

(1888–1976) painter; born in Bottrop, Germany. In 1933, fleeing from Nazism, he emigrated to America to continue his teaching career at Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1933–49), and at Yale University (1950–60). A series of paintings, Homage to the Square, reveals his fascination with color relationships. He was influential in introducing the Bauhaus art school concepts from Germany, which stressed craftsmanship and a functional approach to design.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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From 1920 to 1976 the German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) made hundreds of paintings and prints in his series "Homage to the Square." From about 1880 to 1940, Old Order Amish women made hundreds of quilts in a kind of homage to the Diamond in the Square and other geometric designs.
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The Prints of Josef Albers: A Catalogue Raisonne 1915-1976 provides a fine survey of the printmaker's life and dreams, examining the periods of his career, his involvements in abstraction and various printmaking processes, and the numerous portfolios he created.
Almost all famous teachers of the Bauhaus school are included in the exhibition: Max Bill, Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Oskar Schlemmer and, as representatives of the students' generation, Josef Albers and Fritz Winter.