Josef Albers | Obsessions

A man wearing a dark outfit stands surrounded by his artAn art piece of different colored squares

In 1963, artist and educator Josef Albers published Interaction of Color. Written as a teaching aid, the book considers the perspective that color defies explanation; instead, color is an experience.


“Color invites trial and error. Arranging and rearranging. Less theory, more intuition and exploration. Ultimately, Albers suggests, to experiment with color is to learn “how to see.”

Two are pieces on a white background.

In practice, he presents an elegant method to better understand this idea: “Factual color,” he explains, is learned by definition. It’s the way red sits between purple and orange and opposite green on the color wheel. “Actual color,” on the other hand, is how color is perceived in our world; it is an invitation to interact, to play, and to feel.

An art piece with different colors square.

This season we borrow inspiration from this way of thinking, considering the ways color and the pairings thereof open us up in new ways, and offer their own creative freedom when we embrace the unexpected and challenge ideas of what “matches.”


The lesson being: The more we interact, the more we delight in the discovery.