written by:
January 12, 2010

As a pioneering voice in the diffusion of modern art and design, Josef Albers's contributions to printmaking, color theory and pedagogy cannot be overstated.

"Homage to the Square: Glow," 1966. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Homage to the Square: Glow," 1966. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
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"Steps," 1932. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Steps," 1932. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
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"Study for 'Homage to the Square: From the Soil," 1964. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Study for 'Homage to the Square: From the Soil," 1964. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
3 / 7
"Piano Keys," 1932. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Piano Keys," 1932. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
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"Rolling After," 1925. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Rolling After," 1925. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
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"Study for 'Homage to the Square: Last Century," 1956. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Study for 'Homage to the Square: Last Century," 1956. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
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"6 and 3," 1931. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"6 and 3," 1931. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
Courtesy of 
Lee Stalsworth
7 / 7
"Homage to the Square: Glow," 1966. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture.
"Homage to the Square: Glow," 1966. Image courtesy Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture. Image courtesy of Lee Stalsworth.

Along with his wife Anni, with whom he taught at the Bauhaus in Germany, Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Yale University in Connecticut, Albers showed the way forward for generations of students and educators disseminating the gospel of European modernism in America. In addition to his considerable influence as a teacher, Albers was also a prominent color theorist and abstract artist. His long-lived series of paintings and prints, Homages to the Square, is largely the subject of Josef Albers: Innovation and Inspiration, a new show at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, which owns one of the largest collections of his work. Spanning some 50 years, the exhibit will serve as a primer for those new to Albers's work, and a nice reminder for those who know it well. For either a first glimpse, or a refresher course, have a look at this slideshow of Josef Albers's sublime work. The exhibit at the Hirshhorn opens February 11th.

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