The Incredible Fullness of Less

“Very few artists thrive in a vacuum. They tend to gather in bands of like-minded individuals, many of whom are also artists. Josef and Anni Albers belonged to such a band: the Bauhaus, a legendary art school-cum-think tank that flourished in Germany between the world wars. With founders and faculty members like Walter Gropius, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Mies van der Rohe and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, the Bauhaus helped establish the basic tenets of modern design and architecture.

But the Alberses were also a band of two. Their marriage was a remarkable meeting of minds, souls and sensibilities that enabled each to sustain a long and fruitful career through the most turbulent of times. Taking separate paths, they pursued identical principles by different means. Their shared credo boiled down to the Bauhaus catch phrase “Less Is More,” which they followed as devotedly in their lives as in their work.

‘Josef and Anni Albers: Designs for Living,’ an enlightening, quietly excellent show at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, almost reverberates with a sense of this devotion. It could be called the incredible fullness of less.”

More here by Roberta Smith in the New York Times.