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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.

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Hommage to the Square "GB 2" Screenprint, 1969
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
Color screenprint on German Etching paper, 1969 Image Size: 13 3/4” x 13 ¾” inches, full margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 70/125 in pencil, lower margin Printe...
Category

1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers "Hommage to the Square: Tuscany", 1966
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
JOSEF ALBERS "Tuscany" Color screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper, 1966 Image Size: 11” x 11” inches, full margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 121/200 ...
Category

1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Portfolio I, Folio 14, Image I from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition: 1000 Medium: Silkscreen Image Size: 12 x 12 inches...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Gray Instrumentation II e
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint on white Arches 88 rag mould-made paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Gray Instrumentation II e", 1975. Hand pencil signed...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

'Interim', from the series 'Graphic Tectonics'
By Josef Albers
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Josef Albers, 'Interim' from the series 'Graphic Tectonics', zinc plate lithograph, 1942, edition 30, Danilowitz 101. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered '3/30' in pencil. A fine imp...
Category

1940s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Interlinear K50
By Josef Albers
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Josef Albers, 'Interlinear K50', zinc plate lithograph offset to stone printing, 1962, edition 20, Danilowitz 151. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered '14/20' in pencil. A superb, ri...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 4 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 17 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 5
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 23 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 15 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 19 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 8 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 28 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, Formulation:Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 28(A), published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The indivi...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 19 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Siillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 19 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folio 27A
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Contemporary Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 7 (B
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I, Folder 23 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Contemporary Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 24 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 5 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

untitled from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 1, Image 1 from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 10 x 12 i...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

untitled from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Title: untitled from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 15 x 20 inches (38.1 x 50.8 cm) Frame Size: 22 x 22.75 inc...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 19 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation" published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Siillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 14 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 13 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Siillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

ABS, Screen

Palatial
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint on Rives BFK paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Palatial", 1965. Hand pencil signed and dated by Albers lower right and t...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

"Formulation : Articulation," Portfolio II Folder 16
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
"Formulation : Articulation," Portfolio II Folder 16 Josef Albers is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He was born 1888 in Bottrop, Germany. In 1920 Albers jo...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Segments
By Josef Albers
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Josef Albers, 'Segments', linoleum cut, 1934, edition 20, 25, plus proofs, Danilowitz 79. Signed, titled, dated, and annotated '(proof)' in pencil. A fine, richly-inked impression on...
Category

1930s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Linocut

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

SP XII
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Medium: Screenprint Sheet size: 24 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches Frame size: 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches Printer: Edition Domberger, Germany Publisher: Edition Domberger, Germany Catalogue raisonne...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

untitled from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation: Articulation 1981.524.1.1
By Josef Albers
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A print by Josef Albers. "Formulation: Articulation 1981.524.1.1" is a screen print, executed in shades of blue and depicting abstracted, folded papers, by Post War artist Josef Albe...
Category

1970s Post-War Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

untitled from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers vinyl record art (1950s Albers)
By Josef Albers
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Josef Albers Album Art circa late 1950s A vinyl record cover (containing its record) brilliantly illustrated by Josef Albers c.1958. Looks fantastic framed. Offset lithograph on vin...
Category

Mid-20th Century Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Offset

Variant V
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original screenprint on Rives BFK paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Variant V", 1967. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 100; (there was also a signe...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

I-S Va 6, from Six Variants
By Josef Albers
Located in Miami, FL
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers I-S Va 6, from Six Variants 1969 Silkscreen 28 x 36 in. Edition of 150 Pencil signed, dated, numbered and titled Accompanied with COA by Gregg Sh...
Category

1960s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 13 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
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...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Allusive
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Allusive", 1965. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 955/1,200. Com...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

WLS I
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed three color lithograph on handcut Arches paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "WLS I", 1966. Hand pencil signed, dated by Albers lower r...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Josef Albers vinyl record art
By Josef Albers
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Josef Albers Album Art circa early 1960s: Vinyl record cover (containing its original record) brilliantly illustrated by Josef Albers in the early 1960s. Looks fantastic framed. Off...
Category

Mid-20th Century Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Offset

untitled from Formulation: Articulation, Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 10, Image 1 from Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 15 x 20 inches (38.1 x ...
Category

1970s Op Art Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Trapezoid Composition from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio "Formulation: Articulation", created by Josef Albers in 1972. In the portfolio, there were 127 screenprints, with only the colophon bearing Albers' signature and t...
Category

1970s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers vinyl record art (set of 4)
By Josef Albers
Located in NEW YORK, NY
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...
Category

Mid-20th Century Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Offset

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio "Formulation: Articulation", created by Josef Albers in 1972. In the portfolio, there were 127 screenprints, with only the colophon bearing Albers' signature and t...
Category

1970s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
The complete set of 10 screenprints Sheet size: 21 5/8 x 21 5/8 inches, each Frame dimensions: 23 x 23 inches, each Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag,...
Category

1970s Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Untitled from Formulation: Articulation, Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 25, Image 2 from Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 20 x 15 inches Frame Siz...
Category

1970s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers-The 10th New York Film Festival-50" x 26"-Serigraph-1972-Abstract
By Josef Albers
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Signed and Numbered out of 144 in pencil by Albers. Created in 1972 by Josef Albers advertising the 10th NY Film Festival in 1972. 200 unsigned posters were created, along with the ...
Category

20th Century Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant from Formulation: Articulation, Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Title: Portfolio 1, Folder 11, Image 1 Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Paper Size: 15 x 20 in...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant from Formulation: Articulation, Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Variant, Portfolio I, Folio 11 , Image 2 from the portfolio Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition size: 1000 Medium: Silkscre...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant from Formulation: Articulation, Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Variant, Portfolio 2, Folio 9 , Image 1 from the portfolio Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition size: 1000 Medium: Silkscree...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

FORMULATION ARTICULATION
By Josef Albers
Located in Portland, ME
Albers, Josef. FORMULATION ARTICULATION. Abrams/Ives-Stillman, NY, 1972. Castleman, A Century of Artist's Books, page 138. Two volumes, gray linem portfolios, each in a gray linen sl...
Category

1970s Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Prefatio, from the Graphic Tectonics Series
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Edition: 34. This impression is one of only two proofs printed on graph paper. Printed by Reinhard Schumann, Hickory, North Carolina. Reproduced in Formulation: Articulation (portfol...
Category

20th Century American Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Portfolio 2, Folder 19, Image 2 from the Portfolio: Formulation: Articulation (Double Portfolio) Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition: 1000 Image Size: 1...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

SP IV
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint on Schollers Hammer Board paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "SP IV", 1967. Comes from the 1967 "SP" portfolio, a suite of...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Board, Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Homage to the Square, Portfolio II, Folio 17 , Image 2 from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition size: 1000 Medium: Silkscre...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen