Josef Albers

Biography of Josef Albers

Josef Albers (born 1888 in Bottrop, DE, died 1976 in New Haven, US) was a painter, sculptor, teacher, and poet. During his lifetime he set forth a generation of American artists to the European modernist concepts of the Bauhaus. Albers studied to become a teacher and attended the Royal Art Academy of Berlin; moreover he studied lithography and entered the Bauhaus in Weimar at the age of 23. His research on geometric shapes and the interaction of colors remodeled the 20th century art scene, attempting to provide an alternative to Abstract Expressionism and concepts such as color-field painting, geometric abstraction and op art. Occasionally called 'the square man', in his painting series Hommage to the Square (1950 until his death) Albers focused on the effects colors had when confined to a systematic square shape. He claimed, "in visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is – as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art." Besides architectural commissions, murals, painting and printmaking, he published books on art theory and produced an enormous amount of silkscreen prints.

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