Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers

Josef Albers was an artist who revolutionized how we think about color. In his Homage to the Square, Albers showed how colors can influence each other and change the mood of a painting. Albers tames red with violet and makes gray sparkle next to black. He never stopped being curious about color and continued studying and learning until his death at age 88.

An Eye for Color, written by Natasha Wing with art by Julia Breckenreid, is a splendid look at the life and interests of Josef Albers. The art is eye-popping (sorry for the pun) and the narrative is sparse in a good way. You are not overwhelmed with information as can happen in non-fiction sometimes. In the back of the book, make sure you read the Author's Note, More About Josef Albers, and the See-for-Yourself Activities. This is a great book to show to your school's art teacher, but it would work in the regular classroom as well. It would be interesting to see what colors students experiment with after reading the book. You could use this book in introducing the scientific method. Students could form hypotheses about how colors react to one another. For example, how do you think red will look when it is surrounded by different colors? Will it affect its brightness? I would also add An Eye for Color to your biography section as well.

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