Johannes Itten and Josef Albers

Johannes Itten was a painter, desighner, teacher, and a writer from Swiss. He was also a theorist associated with the Bauhaus school. Itten Johannes was born in Sudern-Linden, Switzerland, studied as an elementary school teacher from 1904 and 1908.He used to teach with the methods established by Friedrich Frobel hence making him to be exposed to the concepts of psychoanalysis. Itten returned to Bern from Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva after he was unimpressed with the professors there. He studies at the Bern Hofwil teachers Academy resulted into his approval as seminal for his later work as a master at the Bauhaus.

He acquired principles embraced by Schneider such as the exercise of not making corrections to his learners’ creative work on an individual level as he feared that he may disrupt the creative impulse.However, he made corrections on particular selected mistakes for the entire class. He also adopted various basic shapes like the line, the plane, the spiral, and the circle as a way to which he could start creation and the use of gymnastic exercises as an approach to make his learners relax and prepare for the experience that they were to face during class time (Feisner 126). He emphasized on the need to have spiritual openness and peace of mind as a means to free expression. Itten taught at the Bauhaus from 1919 up to 1922 where he established the innovative courses that were to educate the learners on the basics of material characteristics, compostion, and color. To add on the work of Adolf Holzel’s color wheel, he published a book “the Art of colors” to describe his ideas.

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On his color sphere, he added twelve colors. He was a strict vegetarian and exercised meditation as a way to develop his understanding and intuition which acted as the principle source of artistic inspiration and practice (Getulio 22). Johannes Itten is recognized as the first person to define and identify measures and strategies for a successful combination of colors. He established about seven methodologies to be used in coordinating colors and utilizing the hue’s contrasting properties through his own research work. According to Johannes, color is life and a world without color is seen a dead world.

This is because colors are the primordial concepts, and the children of light. Johannes attempted to depart from the work of other arts like Goethe which viewed how people were generally affected by color and thus he theorized further that, ifferent people reacted to color quit differently.Therefore, he taught his Bauhaus students what this meant by enlightenening them on general knowledge of color and then requested each one of them to form or develop their own palette of subjective colors (Itten 78). Johannes Itten’s introductory courses today, are still being used by many schools particularly art schools with their concentration on the analysis of color. The theories on colors have spread in America and this is because of the former Bauhausers like the Albers Itten’s student who became the best known color theorist following the footsteps of Itten Johannes.Josef Albers was born in 1888 in Bottrop, Germany.

He studied very hard with a vision of becoming a teacher, which he succeeded to get. He therefore, taught in Westphalia after moving from Buren as at 1908 to 1913. He was later certified as an art teacher after attending the Konigliche Kunstschule in Berlin from 1913 to 1915. Albert’s studies were mainly based on glass painting at the Bauhaus. This made him to be the leader in the glass workshop as a Bauhausgeselle, meaning a journeyman at Bauhaus. He began offering lessons of basic design to the Vorkurs in1923.

He used to design furniture and typography at school in addition to working in glass and metal fields. Just like Johannes Itten, Josef Albers was also a painter, sculptor, art theorist, and an educator. Through his teachings, he was able to establish a generation of American artists to the European modernist ideas of the Bauhaus. Josef managed to transform the modern art scene through his experimentation with interactions of colors and geometric shapes. He also provided options to abstract expressions and inspiring movements like geometric abstraction, color field painting and OP art (Alber 34). In addition to his painting, print making, and executing murals and architecture commissions, Josef was also able to publish poetry, articles, and books on art theory and his well known book was published in 1963 “interaction of colors” presented his theory that colors were governed by an internal and deceptive logic.

Alber tried to explain how colors relate to each other and the effects that one color can have on the one next to or near it. He further explored the basic principles like color intensity, color temperature, the boundaries between colors and the illusion of transparency (Meggs 1998). The interaction of colors by Alber Josef clearly ddemonstrates the understanding of color relationships with how human beings perceive them. His method of teaching on issues of colors is basically on the direct perception, but not by theories or even color systems (Clive 90). Through his work, we learn that color constantly changes, meaning that colors are always viewed in relation with the other colors near to them. This therefore makes it hard to view a color by itself and as not interacting with its surroundings.

Alber demonstrates that colors are well understood through experience. This means that we have to train our eyes so that we can understand color and begin to view the differences between them. Therefore, by making comparisons and contrast of different colors, one starts to grasp how colors interact and how to apply them into usage. In general, as an artist and a teacher, Josef Alber performed a very vital role in the history of the twentieth century art. The entire generations of the America minimalists were highly influenced by the theories about art and color.

He created various ways of perceiving art and life because he saw art as a process rather than a product with the main intention of opening the eyes of people through his art work (Wortmann 1993).Through Johannes Itten’s work, I feel enlightened on the importance of colors and how to apply them in general life. I agree with his statement that the world without color is seen as a dead world, this is because through colors the earth looks beautiful and a better place to be. Since colors are viewed differently by different people, it is good to develop interest in learning how colors are and how to appreciate them. Through his color contrast like that one of the contrast of saturation, it is formed by the juxtaposition of light and dark values and their relative saturations. (Institute of Materials (Great Britain) & Maney Publishing 1984).

In conclusion, Alber Josef’s work has also influenced me in that I now know how to perceive colors having learnt the way they interact with each other. Through his work, I am able to understand the relationship between colors in the way I perceive it. Therefore, Alber is demonstrated by his work as a person who is compassionate with life through colors. Through his work, Josef Alber explains that colors are well understood by experience. This means that I have to train my eyes so that I can understand colors and begin to view the differences between colors.