Preliminary class with Josef Albers

A Vorkurs Class 

March 2014

Sophie Wijesuriya with Art Foundation students from Central Saint Martins

To coincide with an offsite project ‘Vorkurs’ at Standpoint Gallery

1 Johannes Itten’s breathing exercises

2 listen to music by Josef Matthias Hauer (1919)

3 folding techniques (curling, crinkling, folding, pleating, valley & mountain folds)

4 make paper sculptures

5 drawing

“I remember vividly the first day of the [Preliminary Course]. Josef Albers entered the room, carrying with him a bunch of newspapers. … [and] then addressed us …

“Ladies and gentlemen, we are poor, not rich. We can’t afford to waste materials or time. … All art starts with a material, and therefore we have first to investigate what our material can do. So, at the beginning we will experiment without aiming at making a product. At the moment we prefer cleverness to beauty. …

Our studies should lead to constructive thinking. … I want you now to take the newspapers … and try to make something out of them that is more than you have now. I want you to respect

the material and use it in a way that makes sense — preserve its inherent characteristics. If you can do without tools like knives

and scissors, and without glue, [all] the better.”

Hannes Beckmann “Formative Years” 1970