Josef Albers

Josef Albers
19.03.1888 (Bottrop, Germany) - 25.03.1976 (Orange, France)

Nationality: German


Albers was a German-born American artist whose work was of significant influence to European and American art education programs of the 20th century. He was a designer, photographer, typographer, printmaker and poet, but is mostly known for his work as an abstract painter and theorist.

After studying art in Berlin, Munich, and Essen Albers enrolled as a student at the Bauhaus in 1920, the prestigious art academy in Weimar. In 1925 the Bauhaus promoted him to Professor. With the increasing influence of the Nazis in Germany and the closure of the Bauhaus, however, Albers emigrated to the United States, where he became a teacher at Black Mountain College, North Carolina. Among his students were Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil.
Albers encouraged a disciplined approach to painting and composition. His series Homage to the Square is the most famous example of this. In this series, which Albers began in 1949, he experimented with the interaction between flat, colored, concentrically-arranged squares. Albers' work radiates European influence from the constructivists and the Bauhaus movement, but also represents a transition to the new American art. 


Amerikaanse Schilderijen Collages, Groningen (, Museum voor Stad en Lande 5/11 tot 11/12-1966 Herzogenrath;
Bauhausfotografie (exh. cat. Stuttgart, 1983);
J. Szarkowski, Photography until now (1989);
Photo Metro, 1989/1990, no. 75, p. 4-17 (NFM);
 J. Fiedler, Photography at the Bauhaus (1990);
M. Auer, Index (1992) (NFM)
Petra Both, Stefan Trost (eds.), Und sie haben Deutschland verlassen... müssen (exh. cat. Bonn, 1997) (NFM);
Deutsche Fotografie. Macht eines Mediums 1870-1970 (exh. cat. 1997) (NFM);
R. Misselbeck, Prestel-Lexikon der Fotografen (2002) (NFM)
Chr. Derouet, 'Bauhaus-Dessau, 1926-1930: trois applications de l'histoire de l'art. Trois dons de la Société Kandinsky au Musée national d'art moderne', in: Les Cahiers du Musée national d'art moderne, 90, hiver 2004-2005, p. 61-92;
E. Díaz, 'The ethics of perception: Josef Albers in the United States', The Art Bulletin, 90/2 (juni 2008), p. 260-285


Amerikaanse Schilderijen Collages, Groningen, Museum voor Stad en Lande, 5 Nov. - 11 Dec. 1966, Herzogenrath;
Und sie haben Deutschland verlassen... müssen, Bonn, 1997; 


Work by Josef Albers is represented in the collections of various international museums, among others: the Guggenheim Museum, MOMA, and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, Josef Albers Museum in Bottrop, Germany and Kunstmuseum Basel.

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Glad. Study for Homage to the Square.

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