Josef Albers was a German-born, American painter known for his complex understanding of color and geometry. Albers was a student, then a professor at the Bauhaus craft and fine arts school. The Bauhaus was founded with the idea of creating a “total” work of art in which all art forms, including architecture, would eventually be brought together. The Bauhaus style later became one of the most influential currents in modern design and education. After his time at Bauhaus, Albers joined the faculty of Black Mountain College, a liberal arts school that grew out of the progressive education movement. The College was led by artists and writers and notable for its integrated student body a decade before Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. Albers favored a very disciplined approach to composition in his artwork. Most famous of all his creations are the hundreds of paintings and prints that make up the series, Homage to the Square. In this rigorous series, begun in 1949, Albers explored chromatic interactions with nested squares. This piece, given to Berea by Gerald and Shelly Elliot, is a part of this exploration.
-Susan Bonta, Class of 2018