Josef Albers (Germany/USA 1888-1976)

Interaction of Color 1963
80 folded pages, silkscreen and offset lithographs, box and text
sheet: 33.3 x 25.2 cms

New Haven and London: Yale University Press
Collection UTS Library Special Collections



The original edition of Interaction of Color comprises a boxed portfolio, containing 80 folders of one or two original prints (silkscreens and offset lithographs) many with flaps, cut-out overlays and other variables, demonstrating Albers’ teachings on colors and color combinations. A commentary booklet accompanies the folders and a cloth-bound text volume in a folding case inside a cloth slipcase.

German-born Albers first trained at B├╝ren in 1905-1908 and worked as a school-teacher for several years. Between 1913-1915 he was a student at the Royal Art School, Berlin, then the School of Arts and Crafts in Essen between 1916-1919. After a year at the Munich Academy, he joined the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1920-1923. On the staff of the Bauhaus between 1923-1933, first at Weimar and then at Dessau, Albers taught typography, furniture design, and basic design. After the School was forced to close in 1933, he emigrated to the United States and taught at Black Mountain College, North Carolina until becoming the first Head of Design at Yale University, New Haven, in 1950.

Described as a ‘masterwork of art education’, Interaction of Colour represents Albers long career investigating and teaching principles of colour and design. In his course on colour Albers would guide his students through exercises using painted papers, juxtaposing different colours and observing the effects. Reflecting this process, many of the sheets in this portfolio have moving flaps or inserts to demonstrate how perception of a colour can change, relative to adjacent or surrounding colour fields. A later section of the folio contains ‘free studies’, featuring work produced as independent investigations into colour.


  • Location: UTS Gallery [CB06.04] and UTS Library [CB05A.04]

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