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Definition: Albers, Josef from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

German painter. Albers fled Germany for America in 1903, where he was influential in introducing the Bauhaus art school concepts, which stressed craftsmanship and a functional approach to design. A series of paintings, Homage to the Square, reveal Albers fascination with colour relationships.


Summary Article: Albers, Josef (1888–1976) from The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Graphic Design and Designers

German artist, designer and educator who developed theories relating to the emotional and perceptual impact of colour, line and geometric forms. His bauhaus principles influenced generations of design students. Studied in Berlin, Essen and Munich before joining the Bauhaus, from 1920 until 1923 as a student and then as a teacher, later director, on the preliminary course. Emigrated to the US in 1933 where he held numerous academic posts including professor at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, 1933–49, and professor at Yale University School of Art, 1950–60, where he established the graphic design programme. At Yale he also worked on a series of abstract paintings, collectively entitled Homage to the Square. Disciplined and subtle compositions in flat colours, they consisted of three or four squares set inside one another. Albers's ideas on colour relationships are explored in his book Interaction of Colour, 1963.

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