Josef Albers

1888 (Bottrop, Germany) – 1976 (New Haven, Conn.)

Albers’ renown, despite his austerely lyrical paintings, is primarily as one of the great teachers. At the Bauhaus he was taught by Itten before taking over his course; among colleagues there, Kandinsky (a warm friend), Klee, and Schlemmer all continued to correspond. He owed his posts at the Bauhaus and later at Yale to Gropius, and at Black Mountain to Philip Johnson, met by chance in Berlin. Bill, Rauschenberg, Noland, Twombly, Hesse and Davidson were among his students, Motherwell and Reinhardt further teaching colleagues. Cage dedicated a piece to him. Rauschenberg described him as a beautiful teacher and impossible person.

Josef Albers knew…