Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Composition for Josef Albers

T. Renner, "Composition for Josef Albers," 2009, oil on paper, 4.25" x 5".

One of the books I most looked at a couple of years ago when I was in the library trying to avoid actually working on my Master's thesis was Albers and Moholy-Nagy: From the Bauhaus to the New World, edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume. This book so inspired me that my first completed painting was an homage to Albers. This blurb from the publishers web site tells the tale:
This beautifully illustrated book highlights the contrasts and correspondences in the lives and work of two of Modernism’s greatest innovators, Josef Albers (1888–1976) and László Moholy-Nagy (1895–1947). Beginning in the 1930s, Albers and Moholy-Nagy each developed a rigorously abstract language that condensed art to its visual fundamentals: line, color, texture, light, and form. This language experienced a creative explosion during their Bauhaus years, when both artists moved freely between media and disciplines. Essays by leading scholars follow the artists’ separate paths through to their emigration to the United States, where each continued to push tirelessly the conventions of artistic practice—Albers at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and then at Yale University, and Moholy-Nagy in Chicago at the New Bauhaus School and the Institute of Design. As highly influential teachers, Albers and Moholy-Nagy became important catalysts for the transmission of Modernist ideas from Europe to America.

And, speaking of Bauhaus:
The Bauhaus celebrates its 90th anniversary this year, and "The Bauhaus: 90 Years / 90 Days" is a new project which commemorates the Bauhaus. Every day during this 90-day project (from July 6 till October 6), a project happens which creatively plays around with and pays homage to an aspect of the Bauhaus. Examples of those projects might include a dance performance inspired by Oskar Schlemmer’s ballet, a musical performance that uses a Kandinsky painting as a graphic score, a fiber art project inspired by Anni Albers’ work, a poem inspired by Walter Gropius’ architecture, a short story inspired by Marianne Brandt’s work, an essay reflecting on an aspect of the Bauhaus movement, and so on.

These events will be presented at different locations around the world. Information about this project’s day-to-day developments will be posted at "The Bauhaus: 90 Years / 90 Days" is being organized by the Borderbend Arts Collective and the Gropius in Chicago Coalition.

You are invited to visit The Bauhaus: 90 Years / 90 Days website to find out more about this project -- including more details about artists' contributions, forums about the Bauhaus, and more!

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