I prefer to see with closed eyes.

— Josef Albers

The most inspiring Josef Albers quotes that are little-known but priceless

Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.


Art is revelation instead of information, expression instead of description, creation instead of imitation or repetition. Art is concerned with the HOW, not the WHAT; not with literal content, but with the performance of the factual content. The performance - how it is done - that is the content of art.


If one says “Red” (the name of a color) and there are 50 people listening, it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.


To design is to plan and to organize, to order, to relate and to control.

In short it embraces all means of opposing disorder and accident. Therefore it signifies a human need and qualifies man’s thinking and doing.


We never really perceive what color really is, as it physically is.

This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.


Easy-to know that diamonds-are precious, Good-to learn that rubies-have depth, But more-to see that pebbles-are miraculous.


I think art parallels life; it is not a report on nature or on intimate disclosure of inner secrets. Color, in my opinion, behaves like man -- in two distinct ways: first in self-realization and then in the realization of relationships with others.


Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.


As we do not see squares in nature, I thought that it is man-made.

But I have corrected myself. Because squares exist in salt crystals, our daily salt.


There is no difference between science and art when it comes to creativeness, productiveness, to come to conclusions and to formulations.


The purpose of art is to re-present nature, not represent it.


The role of art for me is the visualization of attitude, of the human attitude towards life, towards the world.


About Josef Albers

Quotes 69 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Artist
Birthday March 19, 1888

I've handled colour as a man should behave.

You may conclude that I consider ethics and aesthetics as one.


I do not like to be a prophet. I like better to paint than to predict what the next painters will do. Though I have a feeling that consideration of order is very much in the air.


Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon - it is the very heart of painting.


Art problems are problems of human relationship.


In my basic courses I have always tried to develop discovery and invention which, in my opinion, are the criteria of creativeness.


When we are honest - that's my saying - if we are honest then we will reveal ourselves. But we do not have to make an effort to be individualistic, different from others.


It's the only dish I serve my craziness for color in.


Ah, the creative process is the same secret in science as it is in art.

They are all the same absolutely.


Repeated similar experiments with adjacent colors will show that any ground subtracts its own hue from colors which it carries and therefore influences.


I start from experience and read. . .always between polarities - loud and not-loud, young and old, spring and winter. If I can make black and white behave together instead of shooting at each other only, I feel proud.


My father's parents were carpenters. They were also builders partly. They were painters. And several of them were very, active in the theatre and all such nonsense, you know.


If you don't do it my way, I suggest you commit suicide.


Apprentice is the beginner - the first years you work in a craft in the European sense you are an apprentice. That takes 3 or 4 years. Then you are a journeyman. You can go from one master to another and learn other tricks and other secrets.


One line plus one line results in many meanings.


Traditionally art is to create and not to revive.

To revive: leave that to the historians, who are looking backward.


I count all the time on resonance. I call on this, you see.


I have invented the Thermometer style.


Simultaneous contrast is not just a curious optical phenomenon – it is the very heart of painting. Repeated experiments with adjacent colors will show that any ground subtracts its own hue from the colors which it carries and therefore influences.


In visual perception a color is almost never seen as it really is - as it physically is. This fact makes color the most relative medium in art.


Independent of harmony rules, any color 'goes' or 'works' with any other color, presupposing that their quantities are appropriate.


I think Kandinsky and I were very near friends.


I want color and form to have contradictorily functions.


The aim of our studies is to prove that color is the most relative means of artistic expression, that we never really perceive what color is physically.


I have taught my students not to apply rules or mechanical ways of seeing.


It is not so for art in appreciation because art is concerned with human behavior. And science is concerned with the behavior of metal or energy. It depends on what the fashion is. Now today it's energy. It's the same soul behind it. The same soul, you see.


On the little money I had collected I lived in Berlin very cheaply, ate very cheaply. And already in 1920 I saved the first salaries I received to go to Munich.


Instead of art I have taught philosophy.

Though technique for me is a big word, I never have taught how to paint. All my doing was to make people to see.


A painter paints because he has no time not to paint.


When I came from horizontal vertical straight all old stuff then suddenly I go also again in curved lines. And there I submit to changes in the intensity of my hand leading a tool, you see.


And I started with this: I have not painted at all my childhood.

In fact, I never painted. But I helped my father who was a house painter and decorative painter. He made stage sets, he made glass paintings, he made everything.


Whether something 'has color' or not is as hard to define verbally as are such questions as, 'What is music?' or 'What is musical?


As basic rules of a language must be practiced continually, and therefore are never fixed, so exercises toward distinct color effects never are done or over. New and different cases will be discovered time and again.


Color is like cooking. The cook puts in more or less salt, that's the difference!


Just as the unmusical ear is not competent to judge music, so it is likewise with pictures, whether they are paintings, drawings or photos. Only a sensitive and trained eye gives us the right to judge.


I'm not a talker. I'm a formulator.


Therefore art means: you have to believe, to have faith, that is, cultivate vision.


I went to the Academy and studied with Stuck who was then a big man.

But didn't interest me. I didn't know that before me there was Kandinsky and Klee who had also studied with Stuck. He had a good name at that time.

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