On the Actuality of Forms

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The essay discusses some of the techniques Josef Albers, the famous artist-educator, employed in his own work and in his teaching
to make form activate the mind of the creator. The concept “actual,” which Albers used to draw a distinction between two types of
knowledge, “factual facts” (passive) and “actual facts” (active), is used to describe forms that triggered innovation. The essay makes
the point that Albers was not in search for the exceptional, but preferred forms that were ordinary, even banal, bearing resemblance to things that people encountered on an everyday basis. Some of his legendary teaching assignments in his color and free-hand drawing classes, as well as his "Homage to the Square" series, are discussed as examples of how he aimed at snapping students and himself out of the bond between form and meaning, and, in so doing, opening form to multiplicity of experiences and interpretations. In conclusion, that essay situates Albers ideas about how art is made and experienced within 19th and 20th century intellectual culture and speculates about its relevance for today’s architecture. Main references include Federick A. Horowitz and Brenda Danilowitz Josef Albers: To Open Eyes and period articles by Josef and Anni Albers.


Detalles del artículo

Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen
Pelkonen, E.-L. (2014). On the Actuality of Forms. Materia Arquitectura, (09), 82–85. https://doi.org/10.56255/ma.v0i09.179


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