Josef Albers
Change Directions, 1942

Having studied in Berlin, Essen and Munich, Albers, aged 32 at the time, moved to Weimar in 1920 to continue his studies at the Bauhaus, initially under Johannes Itten. As head of the glass workshop, Albers taught material science and influenced several generations of Bauhaus students in the course of ten years. Albers’ first abstract pictures date back to the year 1913, but it was not before the 1930s that his glass window drafts reflected distinctive development steps towards a visually perceptible three-dimensionality on a level surface. Albers worked on the Graphic Tectonic series in 1941–42, to which the work called Change Direction, 1942, belongs: Several overlapping pictorial levels are folded out by means of a structure of white lines. Movements in opposite directions meet in front of a diagonal surface in a brownish shade. In 1949 Albers began creating his best-known picture series, Homage to the Square, which accords a hitherto unknown degree of absoluteness to the autonomy of color.

Josef Albers

* 1888 Bottrop, D
† 1976 New Haven (CT), USA

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