Josef Albers is best-known for his late ‘Homage to the Square’ works. But his printmaking oeuvre provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of his practice which ultimately led to this iconic motif. Having made his first print in 1915, he went on to produce an extensive body of graphic work, collaborating with many of the leading printers and workshops of the time. The key works here are sourced directly from the artist’s foundation to provide a historical overview of his printmaking. Included are examples of rare early linocuts, works from the period of transformation at the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College, to prints which show the influence of his extensive travels in Mexico, and finally the development of the distilled, linear abstract aesthetic for which he is synonymous.
Josef Albers (born 1888 in Bottrop, Germany) was both a student and professor at the Bauhaus in Germany until it was shut down by the Nazis in 1933. Soon thereafter, he fled with his Jewish wife to the United States where he became head of the painting program at the newly established Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1950, Albers left Black Mountain to head the department of design at Yale University in Connecticut where he remained until his death in 1976.