Josef Albers | the artist
The artist Josef Albers
Born March 19 1888, Bottrop, Germany.
Died March 25 1976, Connecticut, USA.
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Josef Albers is a gifted German genius born in March 19, 1888. He is an renowned artist – a painter, sculptor, writer, designer and a teacher. He started his career as a school teacher in Bottrop from 1908 to 1913 and later on taught art in Berlin for three years.
He is most popular for two great art pieces the “Homage to the Square” and “Murals”. Being a theorist and an abstract painter, Albers work was made popular because of its composition. Homage to Square is a series that started in the year 1949. Most of the designs are chromatic interactions and nested squares. He makes use of oil colors and a palette knife.
The “Murals” is a world famous golf leaf mural in the Time Life Building lobby. The “Two Portals” created in 1961 consists of a 42 ft. by 14 ft. mural glass bands in hues of white and brown with a bronze centerpiece that gives the mural a sense of depth. He also did a rework of the sandblasted art piece called “City” that was originally created in 1929 and then later on renamed as “Manhattan”. It is a larger than life abstract mural of red, white and black interwoven strips as high as 28 feet.
Some of his other works include the “Loggia Wall” and “Growth” that and are now seen at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is also known for the “Gemini”, a stainless steel art work now in Missouri and the “Reclining Figure” which is a mural that used to be displayed in Celanese Building in Manhattan.
The life work of Albers is revered all over the globe but he is also known for his process of listing specific details of manufacturer’s colors along with the varnishes he used for his art pieces right at the back of his paintings or art works. It almost looks like a catalogue of some sort or a visual experiment.
Albers work is a mix between traditional European style and American art. His art has influences from both the Constructivists and Bauhaus group as seen in the intensity and scale of his works. By the 60’s, it is noted that his style dwell more on the Western style as depicted in artworks like “Hard-Edge” and “Op”.
During his lifetime, Albers was given the opportunity to showcase his first show in Manhattan right at the JB Neumann’s New Art Circle. He also participated in a number of shows of the Museum of Modern Art. He is well travelled and has been in other countries like Mexico, South America and the United States.
Today’s modern art society gave homage to Albers works when it showcased 80 pieces of oil paintings in paper, something that was never displayed ever before, and showcased it to the public in Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich. The same gallery has travelled world renowned museums such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Morgan Library and Museum, Manhattan. Recently, a show entitled “Albers and Heir” was showcased in a 2014 exhibition featuring the work of Albers and co-artists Dogget and Welliver.
Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:
Homage to the Square<br />Josef Albers in the Guggenheim collection
Works in the TATE collection
Josef and Anni Albers Foundation