Monday, November 22, 2010

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.

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