ALBERS, JOSEF. Francois Bucher: JOSEF ALBERS: DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961.

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An Analysis of his Graphic Constructions

Francois Bucher

Francois Bucher: JOSEF ALBERS: DESPITE STRAIGHT LINES [An Analysis of his Graphic Constructions]. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1961. First edition. Slim quarto. White paper-covered embossed boards. Partial publishers belly band. 88 pp. 32 black and white illustrations. Multiple paper stocks. Typography by Max Caflisch. With remnants of wraparound band laid in. A very good or better copy of this fragile volume.

8.5 x 9 hardcover book with 88 pages and 32 black and white illustrations. Contains an analysis of Albers' graphic constructions by Francois Bucher. Captions are by Albers himself. Typography by the eminent Swiss designer Max Caflisch (a student of Jan Tschichold and Imre Reiner).

  • Introduction
  • Lines
  • Planes
  • Volumes and solids
  • Conclusions
  • Biographical notes
  • Selected bibliography
  • List of illustrations

From the Yale University Press web site: "Josef Albers, one of the most influential artist-educators of the twentieth century, was a member of the Bauhaus group in Germany during the 1920s. In 1933 he came to the United States, where he taught at Black Mountain College for sixteen years. In 1950 he joined the faculty at Yale University as chairman of the Department of Design."

Josef Albers (1888 – 1976) was a German-born American artist and educator whose work formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the twentieth century.

Albers enrolled as a student in the Vorkurs of Johannes Itten at the Weimar Bauhaus in 1920. Although Albers had studied painting, it was as a maker of stained glass that he joined the faculty of the Bauhaus in 1922, approaching his chosen medium as a component of architecture and as a stand-alone art form. Walter Gropius, asked him in 1923 to teach in the preliminary course ‘Werklehre' of the department of design to introduce newcomers to the principles of handicrafts.

In 1925, Albers was promoted to professor, the year the Bauhaus moved to Dessau. At this time, he married Anni Albers (née Fleischmann) who was a student there. His work in Dessau included designing furniture and working with glass. As a younger art teacher, he was teaching at the Bauhaus among artists who included Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. The so-called form master, Klee taught the formal aspects in the glass workshops where Albers was the crafts master; they cooperated for several years.

With the closure of the Bauhaus under Nazi pressure in 1933 the artists dispersed, most leaving the country. Albers emigrated to the United States. The architect Philip Johnson, then a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, arranged for Albers to be offered a job as head of a new art school, Black Mountain College, in North Carolina. In November 1933, he joined the faculty of the college where he was the head of the painting program until 1949.