Josef Albers

Josef Albers

pseudonym: -

birth data

date of birth: 1888

place of birth: Bottrop

death data

date of death: 1976

death: New Haven


The painter and art teacher Josef Albers was born on March 19th 1888 in Bottrop. Before attending the Bauhaus in 1920, he attended the Royal Art School in Berlin, the Arts and Crafts School in Essen and the painting class of Franz von Stuck at the Academy in Munich. In 1923 he received a teaching post from Walter Gropius at the Bauhaus in Weimar. It was also Gropius that nominated him Junior Master in 1925. In addition, he takes over the glass workshop and together with László Moholy-Nagy, the preliminary course which he continues to teach from 1928 onwards on his own. He also leads the furniture workshop and becomes deputy director of the Bauhaus in 1930. In 1932 he moved to Berlin together with the Bauhaus and became a teacher of Symbols and Labels before the Bauhaus was closed in 1933 by the National Socialists. As a result Albers emigrated to the USA. There he teaches at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1933 to 1949 and receives American citizenship in 1939. From 1934 to 1936 he is a member of the Paris artist group "Abstraction-Création" and participates in the documenta I in 1955 and in the documenta IV in 1968. In 1950 he became director of the Department of Design at Yale University and in 1958 he was awarded the First Class Merit Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. "The Interaction of Color", a study on colour theory and one of the main works of Josef Albers, appears in 1963. The experimenting with colours plays a subordinate role in his early work. Only after his emigration to the USA he devotes himself increasingly to this topic as well as the geometric forms and their dissolution. One of his most famous works during this time is his series "Homage to the Square". He noticeably influenced the different styles such as Op Art, New Abstraction and Colourfield Painting.

Josef Albers dies in 1976 in New Haven (Connecticut).