Homage to the Square, 1961, Oil on masonite, 18 x 18 inches, 45.7 x 45.7 cm, MMG#31300
JOSEF ALBERS was born in Bottrop, Germany in 1888. His early career as a schoolteacher in his small hometown foreshadowed the crucial role he would later play in the development of both the Bauhaus and the department of design at Yale University.
In 1922, Albers joined the faculty of the Bauhaus, where Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee also taught. Albers joined forces with Klee to teach glass workshops for several years; Klee taught form while Albers instructed on craft.
After the Bauhaus folded under Nazi pressure in 1933, Albers moved to the United States and worked as the head of the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1950 he left Black Mountain for Yale University and served as the head of the design department, where he was instrumental in expanding the growing “graphic arts” program.
In addition to his contributions as an educator, Albers is known for his abstract painting, disciplined compositions, and theories on color. He famously and prolifically explored chromatic relationships in his “Homage to the Square” paintings.
Albers’ work can be found in numerous private collections internationally. Selected collections include Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung, Berlin, Germany; British Museum, London, United Kingdom; Josef Albers Museum, Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Humlebæk, Denmark; Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Musée National d’art modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, Musée de Beaux-Arts, Montréal, Canada; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; The White House, Washington, D.C.; Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.
Josef Albers died in New Haven, CT in 1976.