Josef Albers Art

Josef Albers (Germany, 1888-1976)

The German-born American painter, writer, and educator Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a pioneer of 20th century modernism, and an innovative practitioner of color theory. With his wife, the textile artist and printmaker Anni Albers (1899–1994), he shaped the development of a generation of American artists and designers through his teaching at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and later at Yale University School of Art, where he was the chairman of the Department of Design from 1950-1958. He is widely known for his series of prints and paintings Homages to the Square, which he created between 1950 and 1975. His influential volume on color theory Interaction of Color was published in 1963.


Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany, and as a young man he studied art education, earning certification from the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin in 1915. He entered the legendary Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1920. The Bauhaus had been established by Walter Gropius in 1919, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, with the hope that its innovative curriculum would foster connections between architecture, art, and traditional crafts. In 1923 Albers began teaching the Vorkurs, the introductory class in which new students learned to work with each of the key artists’ materials, along with color theory, composition, construction, and design. Albers was a polymath, and the multidisciplinary environment of the Bauhaus was fertile ground for his artistic ambitions. When the school moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, he became a full professor, and in addition to glass and metal, he designed typefaces and furniture. While at the Bauhaus, Albers drew inspiration from the work of his colleagues, the color theorist Johannes Itten, and the painter, photographer, and designer László Moholy-Nagy, with whom he co-taught the Vorkurs.


In 1933, the Bauhaus was shut down due to pressure from the Nazi Party, which perceived the school as being sympathetic to communist intellectuals. As Albers’ wife Anni was Jewish, the couple resolved to leave Germany, and settled in rural North Carolina. The architect Philip Johnson helped make arrangements for Albers to join the faculty of Black Mountain College as the head of the painting program, where he remained until 1949. While at Black Mountain, both Josef and Anni Albers became influential mentors to American artists including Ruth Asawa, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg, while working alongside fellow professors Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and William de Kooning.


In 1950, joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art where he would head the newly established Department of Design until his retirement in 1958. In the 1950s, the Alberses began taking trips to Mexico, where the colors and forms of the local art and architecture inspired both artists. In 1971, Albers became the first living artist whose work was the subject of a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Though they worked in different mediums, Josef and Anni Albers’ work shares a fascination with color and geometry. Josef Albers’ compositions from the Homages to the Square series, such as Formulation: Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B), from 1972 give deceptively simple shapes a novel vibrance as colors play off of one another. The hues in Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B) work in concert to give the flat surface the distinct appearance of a tunnel or other 3-dimensional space; while the form on the left appears to move towards the viewer, the form on the right seems to lead directly into the canvas. Similarly, Anni Albers’ designs for textiles use graphic design to lend a sense of dynamism to flat works. Her Study for Unexecuted Wall Hanging (Bauhaus), from 1984 is a Mondrian-like pattern for a weaving in which different colors alternately recede and advance into the foreground, giving the image a sense of complexity and uncanny depth.


Josef Albers also created works of public art, including a delicate, geometric gold leaf mural called Two Structural Constellations for the lobby of the Corning Glass building in New York City in 1959. He designed a work called Two Portals for the lobby of the Time & Life Building in 1961, in which which and brown bands move towards two square panels made of bronze. Walter Gropius invited Albers to create a piece for the Pan Am Building, which he was designing with the architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons. Albers reworked an existing glass piece from his Bauhaus days called City, and, fittingly, renamed it Manhattan.

Golden Gate
Golden Gate
Josef Albers
1960s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original four color screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper by German-Ameican artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled “Golden Gate”, 1965. Comes from the 1965 portfolio of 10...
Josef Albers vinyl record art (set of 4)
Josef Albers vinyl record art (set of 4)
Josef Albers
Mid-20th Century Modern More Art
Offset
Josef Albers Album Art circa late 1950s A set of 4 vinyl record covers (containing their records) brilliantly illustrated by Josef Albers between 1958 and 1960. Looks fantastic frame...
WLS I
WLS I
Josef Albers
1960s Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Printer: Kenneth Tyler Publisher: Gemini, G.E.L., Los Angeles Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 22 (A)
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Multiple shades of brown create this silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 26
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 26
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
A monochromatic silkscreen in purples and white by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 16 (A)
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 20 (B)
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 16 (A)
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 25 (A)
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 2...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I, Folder 32 (B)
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I, Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, Formulation" published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned. Albers' signatur...
Formulation: Articulation, Portfolio I, Folder 20
Formulation: Articulation, Portfolio I, Folder 20
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 5 (A)
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folde...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Articulation: Formulation II, Folder 25 (B)
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. From the edition of 1000, the indi...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 4
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation" published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Formulation: Articulation, Folio II / Folder 6 (B)
Josef Albers
1970s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Formulation: Articulation, Folio II / Folder 6 (B)", 19...
Attic
Josef Albers
Mid-20th Century Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Josef Albers (Bottrop 1888 - 1976 New Haven) Attic (from the portfolio 'Die Oberfläche'), 1965 Medium: Silkscreen in colors on a double page of Mohawk Superfine Bristol Dimensions: ...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. Unsigned, Albers' signature appears on the title pa...
Josef Albers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Josef Albers
1970s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original screenprint exhibition poster by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Josef Albers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art", 1971. It was produced in a signe...
SP-X
Josef Albers
1960s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original signed screenprint on Schollers Hammer Board paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "SP-X", 1967. Comes from the 1967 "SP" portfolio, a suite of ...
Abstract Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 15, Image 1 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 15 x 20 inches (38.1 x 50.8 cm) Frame: 18 x 22 inches from Formu...
Abstract Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 12, Image 1 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 15 x 20 inches (38.1 x 50.8 cm) Frame: 18 x 22 inches from Formu...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Articulation: Formulation, Portfolio I, Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Attic
Josef Albers
Mid-20th Century Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Josef Albers (Bottrop 1888 - 1976 New Haven) Attic (from the portfolio 'Die Oberfläche'), 1965 Medium: Silkscreen in colors, on a double page of Mohawk Superfine Bristol Dimensions:...
I-S LXX a
Josef Albers
1970s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original signed screenprint on German etching paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "I-S LXX a", 1970. Published on the occasion of Alber's eighty-second...
Cinetic Window - Screenprint (Olympic Games Mun...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Josef ALBERS Cinetic Window Screen print Signature printed in the plate On heavy paper 101 x 64 cm (c. 40 x 26 inch) Made for the Olympic Games in Munich, 1972 Excellent condition,...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Articulation: Formulation, Portfolio I, Folder 14
Josef Albers
1970s Contemporary Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images ar...
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
WLS XVII
Josef Albers
1960s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Palatial
Josef Albers
1960s Minimalist Abstract Prints
Screen
An original signed screenprint on Rives BFK paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Palatial", 1965. Comes from the 1965 'Soft Edge - Hard Edge' portfolio. H...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 27, Image 1 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Image Size: 7 x 7 inc...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 23, Image 2 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Image Size: 7 x 7 inc...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 5, Image 2 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 10 x ...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 15, Image 2 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 12 x...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 20, Image 1 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 12 x...
WLS 1
Josef Albers
1960s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Printer: Kenneth Tyler Publisher: Gemini, G.E.L., Los Angeles Edition: 125, plus proofs
Never Before D
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Printer: Tyler Graphics Ltd. Publisher: Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford, New York Edition: 46, plus proofs Numbered in pencil, lower margin
Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsi...
"Formulation : Articulation," Portfolio II Fold...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
"Formulation : Articulation," Portfolio II Folder 23 Josef Albers is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He was born 1888 in Bottrop, Germany. In 1920 Albers j...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 33
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, Formulation : Articulation, published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned. A...
Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsi...
Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder ...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Screen
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsi...
Variant II, from 10 variants
Josef Albers
1960s Bauhaus Prints and Multiples
Screen
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers Variant II, from 10 Variants 1966 Screenprint on rives BFK paper 17 x 17 in. Edition of 200 Initial in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accomp...
White Line Squares (Series II), XIV
Josef Albers
1960s Bauhaus Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers White Line Squares (Series II), XIV 1966 Lithograph 20 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. Edition of 125 Initialed in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accompani...
Homage to the Square
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Homage to the Square from the Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 11.75 x 11.75 inches Paper...
Homage to Square I-S b
Josef Albers
1960s Bauhaus Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers Homage to Square I-S b 1968 Lithograph 21 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. Edition of 65 Initialed in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accompanied with COA by ...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 19, Image 2 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Image Size: 10 x 10 i...
Homage to Square I-S LXX a
Josef Albers
1970s Bauhaus Prints and Multiples
Screen
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers Homage to Square I-S LXX a 1970 Screenprint 21 x 21 in. Edition of 125 Initialed in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accompanied with COA by G...
Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articula...
Josef Albers
1970s Abstract Geometric Abstract Prints
Screen
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 24, Image 2 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Image Size: 10 x 10 i...
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