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Modernism – Josef Albers

November 5, 2011

Josef Albers

Josef Albers was a pioneer of Modernism. He was a teacher, painter and colour theorist; influential in all. His best known work is the painting Homages to the Square which steps away from conventional painting and has a powerful impact on the viewer. The colours are vivid and make you feel almost as if you are stepping into the picture and travel to the centre of it. I think this is an example of Modernism as the simplistic painting is typical of this movement. All pieces in this collection express the same feeling. Also, his line work is another example of Modernism; again it is simplistic yet effective as the audiences’ eye tries to figure out the painting. Albers would apply paint straight from the tube to a white surface and use a palette knife to help him create a smooth surface. His colour theories were constantly put to the test by putting pure colours next to one another. Albers stated that he “Preferred to see with closed eyes” and also “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.” Showing that he was more interested in the feeling of art and perception of objects rather than purely what is there. He was part of the Bauhaus movement which was not fully accepted by society. However, “in 1925 he was the first Bauhaus student to be asked to join the faculty and become a “master” there. By 1933, when pressure from the Nazis forced the school to close, Josef Albers had become one of its best-known artists and teachers.”


One Comment
  1. Dianne Barry permalink

    Excellent work. Did you discover what Albers did after the rise of the Nazis in Germany? He fled to America and established a radical art education practice which influenced generations of artists, designers and educationalists.

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