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Josef Albers quotes

Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.

It was my family that wanted me to be a teacher. That was safe, you see. To be a painter was terrible.

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.

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.

Traditionally art is to create and not to revive. To revive: leave that to the historians, who are looking backward.

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.

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.

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.

Ah, the creative process is the same secret in science as it is in art. They are all the same absolutely.

I love very much to draw animals.

I was at the Royal Art School. That was a preparatory school specially for art teachers. You see, it was not so much for the development of artists. But we had there terribly stiff training.

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.

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.

When we were in the seminary we got a stipend direct from the government and for that stipend we had an obligation to stick to our teaching job for five years.

I prefer to see with closed eyes.

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

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

I've handled colour as a man should behave. You may conclude that I consider ethics and aesthetics as one.

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.

Any ground subtracts its own hue from the colors which it carries and therefore influences.