The Relationship between Teaching and Making Art: Josef Albers as Teacher and Artist

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Josef Albers was an artist and educator whose artworks were strongly influenced by his experiences teaching students of all levels in the classroom. At the same time, his teaching was deeply affected by the evolution of his artwork over the course of his career. Albers repeated the notion that he was constantly learning from his students throughout his life. He had a very loose and experience-based approach to teaching that allowed his students to learn from their materials, from one another, and from their own mistakes as much or more than they learned directly from him. This course will explore the relationship of teaching art to making art, using the case study of Albers’ career as our starting point. Students will explore Albers’ work, the work of some of his students including Jacob Lawrence, and the work of other artist/teachers such as Richard Roth.