The Sacred Modernist:Josef Albers as a Catholic Artist (2012)

2012 Selection

Designed by David Smith at Atelier David Smith

Curator / Editor: Nicholas Fox-Weber

Editor: Fiona Kearney

Print and Lithography: MM Artbook Print & Repro

Categories: Printed Publication

Industry: Cultural

Curated by Nicholas Fox Weber, Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Sacred Modernist exhibition presented the work of the great Bauhaus-trained modernist in a new way. Josef Albers was born and raised a Catholic and at the end of his life, he regularly attended Sunday mass and went to confession. The exhibition and accompanying book explored the influence of this religious upbringing as well as his admiration for the masters of early Christian art and architecture.

The book presents his earliest sketches of cathedrals in Germany, includes pieces from his time at the Bauhaus and North Carolina's Black Mountain College, and culminates in his final 1976 Homage to the Square.

The design of the book had to satisfy strict guidelines from the Albers Foundation including type choice and print standards. Despite Alber's modernist credentials in his latter years he preferred to use classic serif type designs such as Bodoni and Garamond. The book is set in Jan Tschichold's – Garamond inspired – Sabon.

The finished hardback is an achievement in print and reprography with each of Alber's demanding colour works produced to the exacting standards of the Foundation.