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March 1, 2010 Bauhaus

Josef Albers Retrospective at the Hirshhorn

Josef Albers’ “Glow” (1966). From the Hirshhorn's collection.

On my recent visit to Tel Aviv, as I was strolling along the streets taking pictures of some of the 4,000 Bauhaus buildings and visiting the city’s Bauhaus Center, I marvelled at the impact the Bauhaus school has had on modern architecture, design and the arts long after the Nazis forced its shutdown. After only 14 years (1919-1933), the Bauhaus members had to seek refuge in the United States, Israel and other countries. This dispersion allowed the work to continue and quickly influenced the design thinking around the globe.

Albers' "Steps," (1932). From the Hirshhorn's collection.

You can now get a taste of the creativity at the Hirshhorn Museum,  which is holding a major exhibition on the work of German-born Josef Albers, an early student and professor at the Bauhaus.The Hirshhorn possesses one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of work by Albers, who  headed Yale University’s Department of Design from 1950 to 1958.  The exhibit,  “Josef Albers: Innovation and Inspiration,” encompasses  nearly 70 works spanning the artist’s 50-year career, many of which are on view for the first time. The exhibit runs through April 11.