EN
Josef Albers in his studio, New Haven 1967. Photo: John T. Hill
Josef Albers in his studio, New Haven 1967. Photo: John T. Hill

Josef Albers (1888 – 1976) is known first and foremost for his famous series Homage to the Square, that he began in the 1950s and continued to work on for over two decades, establishing him as one of the leading protagonists of modern art. Albers’ Homage not only show a clear perspective in their composition but also an extraordinary harmony of colour. Though committing to a particularly restricted palette, Albers played around with numerous colour tones and combinations to achieve different effects.

His professorship at the legendary Bauhaus School in Dessau and Berlin (1923 – 1933) was of fundamental significance until – due to continual harassment from the Nazi party – he was forced to emigrate to the United States. There, he first taught at the recently-founded Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1933 – 1949) before being offered a professor’s chair at Yale University, Connecticut (1950 – 1959). In the following years, Albers continued to deliver lecture series at various American universities. In 1963, his legendary book, Interaction of Colour, was published.

Publications

Biography

Biography
1888

Born in Bottrop, Germany

1905 - 08
Teacher training 
1913 - 15

Studies in arts education at the Royal Art Academy, Berlin, Germany

1916 - 19

Studies at the School of Arts and Crafts, Berlin, Germany

1919 - 20

Studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, Germany

1920

Preliminary course at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany
 

1923 - 32

Teaching assignment at the Bauhaus Dessau and Berlin, Germany

1933

Teaching assignment at the Black Mountain College, North Carolina, USA

1939

Becomes an American citizen
 

1948

Appointed director at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, USA

1950

Appointed director of the Faculty of Design, Yale University, Connecticut, USA

1970

Move to Orange, Connecticut, USA

1976

Died on March 25 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions
2018-19
Interaction

Villa Hügel, Essen, Deutschland

2016-17
Josef Albers in Mexico

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

2016
Formulate / Articulate

Burlington City Arts, Burlington, Vermont, USA

2015
Albers in Command

Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2014-15
Intersecting Colors: Josef Albers and His Contemporaries

Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, Amherst, MA, USA

2014-15
A Beautiful Confluence: Anni and Josef Albers and the Latin American Worl

Mudec, Museo delle Culture, Milan, Italy

2014
Black and White

Waddington Custot Galleries, London, Great Britain

2013-14
Process and Printmaking

Museo Fundación Juan March; Museo de Arte Abstracto Español, Cuenca, Ecuador; Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany

2012-13
Kunst als Erfahrung. Josef Albers als Lehrer – der Maler und seine Schüler

Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop, Germany

2012
The Sacred Modernist: Josef Albers as a Catholic Artist

Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland

2009-11
Josef Albers in Amerika. Malerei auf Papier

Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany; Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2006-07
Formulation: Articulation

NIU Art Museum - Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA

2005-06
The Power of Color

The Columbus Museum, Columbus, OH, USA

2005
Josef and Anni Albers. Designs for Living

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, USA

2004-05
Homage to the Square. A Retrospective

Museo Morandi, Bologna, Italy

2002-03
Works. Josef Albers

Museum Kampa, The Jan and Meda Mládek Foundation, Prague, Czech Republic

2000-01
Homage to the Square

Galerie Karsten Greve, Milan, Italy

1997-98
Paintings and Photographs

Galerie Karsten Greve, Milan, Italy

1993-95
Glas - Farbe – Licht

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy; Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain; Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

1992-93
Arbeiten auf Papier

Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, Germany

1991-92
Photographien 1928 – 1955

Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany

1987-88
Eine Retrospektive

Bauhaus Archiv, Berlin, Germany; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden – Baden, Germany

1975-76
Joseph Albers 1888 - 1976

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1974-75
Serigraphs from Formulation: Articulation, by Josef Albers

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

1972-73
Formulation: Artikulation

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

1969-70
Josef Albers

Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany

1968-69
The Graphic Construction of Joseph Albers

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1965-66
The American Years

The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA, USA

1964-65
Josef Albers

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, USA

1946-47
Josef Albers

Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena, CA, USA

1945-46
Prints by Josef Albers

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

1932
Glasbilder

Bauhaus, Dessau, Germany

1931-32
Josef Albers und Karl Dietschmann

Verein für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Erfurt, Germany

1918-19
Josef Albers Graphikwerke

Galerie Goltz, Munich, Germany

Group exhibitions
2019-20
Lichtenstein to Warhol: The Kenneth Tyler Collection

National Gallery of Australia, Canberry, Australia

2019-20
Von Albers bis Zukunft, Auf den Spuren des Bauhauses

Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany

2019-20
Reflex Bauhaus. 40 Objects – 5 Conversations

Die Neue Sammlung, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany

2018-19
The Life and Afterlife of Bauhaus

Unisersity of Arizona Museum of Art, Tuscon, AZ, USA

2018-20
gestalten – ein jahrhundert abstrakte kunst im westen

Kunsthaus NRW Kornelimünster, Aachen, Germany

2017-18
The History of Perception

Smart Museum of Art, University of Art, Chicago, IL, USA

2017-18
Pas de deux. Römisch Germanisches Kolumba

Kolumba, Kunstmuseum des Erzbistums Köln, Cologne, Germany

2017-18
Privotal. Highlights from the Collection

Orange County Musum of Art, Newport Beach, USA

2017
Hear, See, Play. Designing with Sand

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, USA

2017-18
Painting in Black and White

National Gallery, London, Great Britain; Museum Kuntspalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

2016-17
Poetic and Political

Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, USA

2015
Adventures of the Black Square. Abstract Art and Society 1915 - 2015

Whitechapel Gallery, London, Great Britain

2015
Black Sun

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (Basel), Switzerland

2014-15
Light / Dark, White / Black

Addison Gallery of American Art Andover, Andover, MA, USA

2014
Harry Seidler. Painting Toward Architecture

Museum of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2013-14
Making Music Modern. Design for Ear and Eye

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2013
Josef Albers and Robert Rauschenberg

Galería Cayón, Madrid, Spain

2013
Josef Albers, Richard Artschwager, Donald Baechler, Matthew Brannon u.a.

Lincoln Center, Vera List Art Project 2013, New York, USA

2013
La invención concreta. Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

2013
verfemt, verfolgt – vergessen? Kunst und Künstler im Nationalsozialismus

Ephraim - Palais, Stadtmuseum Berlin, Berlin, Germany

2013
Société Anonyme. Modernism for America

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, USA

2013
S(ch)ichtwechsel! Neue Blicke auf die Sammlung

Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt, Germany

2012
Bauhaus. Art as Life

Barbican Art Gallery, London, Great Britain

2012
Punkt.Systeme - Vom Pointillismus zum Pixel

Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany

2012
De La Generosidad. Obras De La ColecciÓn Helga De Alvear

Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

2012
The Sigrid and Franz Wojda Collection

Museum Moderner Kunst Kärnten, Klagenfurt, Austria

2012-13
aus der zeit. Kunst der 50er und 60er Jahre in der Villa Schöningen

Villa Schöningen, Potsdam, Germany

2011-12
Inventing Abstraction, 1910 – 1925

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2011
Alexej von Jawlensky - Josef Albers. Farbe – Abstraktion - Serie

Museum Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany

2010-11
Arp, Beckmann, Munch, Kirchner, Warhol … Klassiker in Bonn

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany

2010
Die Chronologie der Bilder

Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

2009
Bauhaus 1919 – 1933. Workshops for Modernity

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

2009
Karsten Greve. 20 Years in Paris

Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris, France

2009
Abstraktion und Einfühlung

Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany

2009-10
Minimalism Germany 1960s

Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany

2009-10
Gipfeltreffen der Moderne. Das Kunstmuseum Winterthur

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria

2008
The American Scene

British Museum, London, Great Britain

2008
COMING OF AGE. Arte americana dal 1850 al 1950

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

2008
is it tomorrow yet?

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2008-09
Interaction of Color

Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Germany

2007-08
Genau + anders. Mathematik in der Kunst von Dürer bis Sol LeWitt

Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - mumok, Vienna, Australia

2007
Der unendliche Raum dehnt sich aus

Kolumba, Cologne, Germany

2006-07
Die Kunst zu Sammeln

Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany

2006
Albers and Moholy-Nagy. From The Bauhaus to the New World

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London, Great Britain

2006
Von Kandinsky bis Tatlin. Konstruktivismus in Europa

Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany

2006
The Expanded Eye. Sehen - entgrenzt und verflüssigt

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

2005-06
Figures in the Field - Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Collections

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

2005
Wahlverwandtschaften

Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

2004-05
PERFECT PAINTING

Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany

2003-04
Archiskulptur

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (Basel), Switzerland

2002-03
The Daimler Chrysler Collection

ZKM Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany

2001
Monets Vermächtnis - Serie - Ordnung und Obsession

Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

2001
De Artaud ... à Twombly

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2001-02
Josef Albers - Bauhaus 1919 - 1933 et Paris

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

2001
Astratta

Palazzo Cavour, Turin, Italy

2001
Geometrical Affairs

Daimler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany

2000-01
Ornament und Abstraktion

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (Basel), Switzerland

2000
Vom Sinn für das Wesentliche. Erwerbungen der Ära Baumann

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

1999-00
Farbe > Licht

Fondation Beyeler, Riehen (Basel), Switzerland

1998-99
Geometrie als Gestalt. The Daimler Chrysler Collection

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

1997-98
Josef & Anni Albers. Europa und Amerika

Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland

1997-98
Produkt Kunst: Wo bleibt das Original?

Ludwig Museum im Deutschherrenhaus, Koblenz, Germany; Kunstmuseum Solothurn, Solothurn, Switzerland; Weserburg – Museum für moderne Kunst, Bremen, Germany

1996-97
Exil. Flucht und Emigration europäischer Künstler 1933 - 1945

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

1993-94
Konzeptionelle Druckgraphik

Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

1993
Azur

Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France

1993
Wege der Moderne. Die Sammlung Beyeler

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

1992
German Etchings. 1960s

Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

1988
Josef Albers

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

1988
The Photographs of Josef Albers

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1988
Jean Arp - Josef Albers - John Mc Laughlin

Galerie nächst St. Stephan – Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna, Austria

1986-87
Mathematik in der Kunst der letzten dreißig Jahre

Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany

1984-85
RAUM ZEIT STILLE

Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany

1984-85
La photographie du Bauhaus

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

1983-84
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927 - 1944

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA; The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, USA

1982-83
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America 1927 - 1944

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

1978-79
Manifestations de l'art minimal

Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada

1977
Abstraction/Creation

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1976-77
Tendenzen der 20er Jahre

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

1974
American Prints: 1913 - 1963

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1974
Zum Thema Farbe: Albers - Itten – Lohse

Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

1970-71
Ways of Looking

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1967-68
documenta 4

Kassel, Germany

1967-68
Deutsche Kunst heute / German art today: 129

Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany

1967
Vom Bauhaus bis zur Gegenwart

Hamburger Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany

1966-67
The Artist as His Subject

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1965
The Responsive Eye

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1961-62
Geometric abstraction in America: March

The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

1956-57
The Sphere of Mondrian

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX, USA

1955-56
Josef Albers, Fritz Glarner, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart

Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland

1954-55
documenta 1

Kassel, Germany

1951-52
Naum Gabo and Josef Albers

Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

1950-51
Abstract Painting and Sculpture in America

MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1937-38
3 German Painters

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA

1936-37
Four Painters: Albers, Dreier, Drewes, Kelpe

Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

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