Born: 1888. Died: 1976.
German-American painter, trained in Berlin and Munich before he enrolled al the Bauhaus in 1920.
His chosen craft was stained glass. In 1925 he was one of the former students appointed to the Dessau faculty; he taught and worked in a range of design activities, including typography and furniture.
His preferences matched perfectly the recommended Bauhaus style of the later 1920s for exact and succinct forms. In 1933 he took up a teaching post at Black Mountain College, North Carolina, USA, remaining there until 1949 but giving courses also at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
From 1950 to 1958 he was chairman of Yale University Department of Architecture and Design. His glass panels and paintings were much exhibited in the USA from 1936 on.
In 1956 he had a retrospective at Yale and in the 1960s his work was often seen on bolh sides of the Atlantic. His art and teaching were rooted in the analysis of space, form and color as visual phenomena. He worked as an Elementarist yet his exploration of the visual intricacies of line constructions and color relationships, and hence his exploitations of the visual drama offered by the simplest arrangements, gave his work a personal, expressive note. The general aim of all his work was to awaken mankind's capacity to see intensely. It is brilliantly served by his linear lithographs and his famous series of paintings Homage to the Square, begun in 1950.
Interaction of Color (1963) is a didactic demonstration of how color experience is conditioned by context. He also wrote statements as succinct and pointed poems; their essential message is that constructive art and intuition are partners.
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