Josef Albers was one of the most influential artists and art teachers of the 20th century and will likely be remembered most for his studies on color theory. He studied the conceptual relationship between colors, how our brain reacts to color and how color can create movement in a painting.
By using the same simple geometric shapes but changing the colors in or around the shapes, he studied how people experience artwork. In his series “Homage to the Square” he demonstrated how color affects the movement of a painting. By subtly changing color one shade lighter or darker, or having a bright color in the middle or around the edges, the artist can change the overall experience for the viewer. In his writings about the series he called this the physical fact versus the psychological affect of color.
In another series of treble clefs, he demonstrated that it is not only the lines of a painting that cause the eye to move, but also the color used. Depending on where the colors are placed, the eye follows the lines into or out of the design.
Albers devoted his life to teaching and his writings about his work help explain much of what is shown in the display. He wanted his students to understand the importance of color, to demonstrate their tensions and interdependence with each other. In keeping with the Bauhaus tradition that he came out of, he reduced art to its very core: the use of color.