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Josef Albers Art

American, German, 1888-1976
American, German, 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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SP IV
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint on Schöllers Hammer Board by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "SP IV", 1967. Hand pencil signed and dated by Albers lower right, ...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Board, Screen

SP VII
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Sheet size: 24 1/8 x 24 1/8 inches Frame size: 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches Printer: Edition Domberger, Germany Publisher: Edition Domberger, Germany Edition: 125, plus proofs Catalogue r...
Category

1960s 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 artist...
Category

1970s Op Art 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 Op Art Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Embossed Linear Constructions (ELC)
By Josef Albers
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Josef Albers (1888-1976) is connected with numerous movements that have defined visual culture in the 20th century. While Albers' influence is well-documented, his connection to mi...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Paper

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

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

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

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

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

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 artist...
Category

1970s 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 artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers vinyl record album 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 designed by Josef Albers between 1958 and 1960. Looks fantastic framed ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Offset

EK If
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

"Formulation: Articulation, Portfolio I, Folder 10", Geometric Abstract Design
By Josef Albers
Located in Detroit, MI
In 1963, Albers published Interaction of Color, which is a record of an experiential way of studying and teaching color. He asserted that color "is almost never seen as it really is"...
Category

1970s American Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

SP III
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Sheet size: 24 1/8 x 24 1/8 inches Frame size: 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches Printer: Edition Domberger, Germany Publisher: Edition Domberger, Germany Edition: 125, plus proofs Catalogue r...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK Ib
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 27 (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

Nacre
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 "Nacre", 1965. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 250. (There was a...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 24 (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

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 24 (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

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I 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 unsi...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II 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 unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 15 (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 I Folder 1 (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

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 1 (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 9 (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

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 9 (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 I, Folder 26, Matted
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

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 18, Matted
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 I Folder 9
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
"Formulation : Articulation," Portfolio I Folder 9 Josef Albers is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He was born 1888 in Bottrop, Germany. In 1920 Albers join...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 11 (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 unsig...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant from the Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers Title: Variant from the Formulation: Articulation portfolio Year: 1972 Medium: Silkscreen Edition Size: 1000 Image Size: 9 x 14 inches Paper Size: 15 x 20 inches...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric 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 III from Ten Variants
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint in grays, on Rives BFK paper, with full margins, portfolio 212 of edition of 300 published by Ives-Sillman, Inc., New Haven with their blind stamp in lower right corner o...
Category

1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Variant VII from Ten Variants
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint on Rives BFK paper, with full margins, portfolio 212 of edition of 300 published by Ives-Sillman, Inc., New Haven with their blind stamp in lower right corner of margin. ...
Category

1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Variant II from Ten Variants
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint on Rives BFK paper, with full margins, portfolio 212 of edition of 300 published by Ives-Sillman, Inc., New Haven with their blind stamp in lower right corner of margin. ...
Category

1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

THE INTERACTION OF COLOR
By Josef Albers
Located in Portland, ME
Albers, Josef). THE INTERACTION OF COLOR by Josef Albers. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1963. Edition of 2000 copies, of which this is one 50 signed and numbered by Albers. Larg...
Category

1960s Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant IV from Ten Variants
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint in grays and blues from Josef Albers Ten Variants. Printed on Rives BFK paper, with full margins, portfolio 212 of edition of 300, published by Ives-Sillman, Inc., New Ha...
Category

1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

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

SP V
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Sheet size: 24 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches Frame dimensions: 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches Printer and publisher: Editions Domberger, Stuttgart, for Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne Edition size: 125 +...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

"Albers - Galerie Melki Paris (orange)" Homage to the Square Mid Century poster
By Josef Albers
Located in Boston, MA
A rare original silkscreen for Josef Albers’ exhibition at the Galerie Melki in Paris in 1973, depicting his most renowned series, “Homage to the Square,” in orange. In excellent co...
Category

1970s Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

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

"Albers - Galerie Melki Paris (yellow)" Homage to the Square Mid Century poster
By Josef Albers
Located in Boston, MA
A rare original silkscreen for Josef Albers’ exhibition at the Galerie Melki in Paris in 1973, depicting his most renowned series, “Homage to the Square,” in yellow. In excellent co...
Category

1970s Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers record album art 1958-62 (set of 4 works)
By Josef Albers
Located in NEW YORK, NY
Josef Albers Album Art late 1950s to early 60s: A set of 4 vinyl record covers (containing their records) brilliantly illustrated & designed by Josef Albers between 1958 and 1962. Lo...
Category

Mid-20th Century Minimalist Josef Albers Art

Materials

Offset

"Pending", Original Abstract Screenprint, Titled, Signed, and Numbered in Pencil
By Josef Albers
Located in Detroit, MI
This exquisite green, blue, and gray abstract screenprint, titled "Pending", is from a series by one of the most influential teachers of the visual arts in the 20th century, Josef Al...
Category

1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Ink, Screen

Red Orange Wall (1959)
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original screenprint on heavy wove paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Red Orange Wall (1959)", 1970. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 400; (there wa...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

"Albers - Galerie Melki Paris (gray)" Homage to the Square Mid Century poster
By Josef Albers
Located in Boston, MA
A rare original silkscreen for Josef Albers’ exhibition at the Galerie Melki in Paris in 1973, depicting his most renowned series, “Homage to the Square,” in yellow and gray. In exc...
Category

1970s Modern Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant III
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 III", 1967. Issued unsigned. Limited edition: 100; (there was also a sig...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Trapezoid Composition Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1972
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

Rhombus Composition, Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1972
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

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

THE INTERACTION OF COLOR
By Josef Albers
Located in Portland, ME
Albers, Josef. THE INTERACTION OF COLOR. Josef Keller, Starnberg, 1973. The Second Edition, with text in German. Two volumes, one of text, the other a portfolio housing 80 folders or...
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

MMA-1
By Josef Albers
Located in Miami, FL
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers MMA-1 1970 Screenprint 24 7/16 x 24 3/8 in. Edition of 100 Initialed in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accompanied with COA by Gregg Shi...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

WLS XIV -- Lithograph, White Line Squares, Square, Gray by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in London, GB
JOSEF ALBERS WLS XIV, 1966 Lithograph printed in sand gray, transparent warm gray and transparent medium gray On Arches Cover paper Signed, dated, titled and inscribed artist's proof...
Category

1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Minimalist Geometric Abstract Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1972
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 artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen