Josef Albers was born 1888 in Germany. He became a certified art teacher by 1915. By 1920, Albers joined the famed Bauhaus school to make stained glass. Just a few years later he was running the glass workshop. During his time there, he had the opportunity to work with metal, designed furniture and typography. Other artists at Bauhaus with Josef Albers were Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. In 1933, with the Nazi invasion, the Bauhaus closed.
From 1933 to 1949, Josef Albers worked as the head of the painting department Black Mountain College. Here he continued to develop his craft and began the Variant/Adobe series which explored the visual effects made by subtle variations in color, form, and placement. Albers was next appointed the chairman of the Design Department at Yale University and he remained there until 1958. It was at Yale that he produced the series Homage to the Square. This work is perhaps what he is best known for as an artist. As with Variant/Adobe, it explored the effects of color within a uniform square. This body of work was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It then traveled to South America, Mexico, and other museums in the United States. In 1971, Josef Albers was the first living artist to be given with a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Josef Albers approached the creation of art scientifically based on both observation and experimentation. His vision contributed greatly to the modern art movement. Albers was a tremendous influence as a teacher as well. Some of his students include Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Donald Judd and John Chamberlain to name a few. He died in 1976.