Josef Albers

“When you really understand that each color is changed by a changed environment, you eventually find that you have learned about life as well as about color.”


―Josef Albers

Josef Albers (Bottrop, Germany, 1888 – New Haven, CT, 1976) was an German-American artist known internationally for his geometric abstractions and the systematic study of color. Born in a family of craftsmen, Albers began studying painting in Munich, and in 1920 enrolled as a student at the Weimar Bauhaus. In 1925, Albers was appointed professor and taught design at the Bauhaus. Albers continued his teaching career after he immigrated to the United States in 1933. Together with Anni Albers, he founded the art department at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. From 1950 to 1958, Albers served as the chair of the newly created design department at Yale University in New Haven, CT. Some of his most prominent students during this era were Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Richard Anuszkiewicz, and Eva Hesse. In 1949, Albers made his first linear Structural Constellation engravings and his first studies for Homage to the Square paintings. In 1963, Albers published a book titled Interaction of Color, which presented his extensive analysis of color theories and had a significant influence on art and art education. In 1971, he became the first living artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.