Johannes Itten teaches.
Boulevard James-Fazy 15, 1201 Genève, Switzerland
Geneva University of Art and Design.
Itten leading his students in physical exercises.
Pfingstweidstrasse 96, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Zurich University of the Arts.
(In this book, the world's foremost color theorist examine...)
In this book, the world's foremost color theorist examines two different approaches to understanding the art of color. Subjective feelings and objective color principles are described in detail and clarified by color reproductions.
Initially, Johannes Itten was trained as a primary school teacher at the teacher-training institute in Bern between 1904 and 1908. In 1909 he enrolled in courses of mathematics and natural sciences at the Geneva University of Art and Design. In 1913 Itten was trained under the guidance of Adolf Hölzel in Stuttgart. There he met Ida Kerkovius, Oskar Schlemmer and Willi Baumeister. Unsatisfied with the educators at the university, Johannes Itten returned to Bern. There he attended the Bern-Hofwil Teachers' Academy, studying with Ernst Schneider. In 1912, Itten returned to Geneva, where he studied under an abstract painter, Eugène Gilliard.
At the beginning of his career, Itten briefly taught at a primary school. Trips abroad, however, convinced Johannes Itten to become a serious painter. Johannes Itten moved to Vienna in 1916, where he was inspired by music and his fellow artists in Vienna, including Adolf Loos and Alma Mahler. They introduced Johannes Itten to Walter Gropius, who invited him to teach at the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919. Itten worked there till 1923, and developed a universal doctrine of design, which he used during his Bauhaus preliminary course. It was created to teach students the basics of material characteristics, composition, and color. He theorized seven types of color contrast and devised exercises to teach them. His color contrasts included contrast by hue, contrast by value, contrast by temperature, contrast by complements (neutralization), simultaneous contrast (from Chevreuil), contrast by saturation (mixtures with gray), and contrast by extension (from Goethe). At the Bauhaus Itten's worked with Gerhard Marcks, Lyonel Feininger, Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Besides, he published a book titled The Art of Color, describing his theory. In 1924 Itten founded the “Ontos Weaving Workshops” near Zurich, with the help of Bauhaus weaver Gunta Stölzl.
In 1926 Johannes Itten managed to establish his own art school in Berlin, where he trained future painters, printmakers, photographers as well as architects. In 1932 Itten was still teaching at the private school but also started to teach at the Krefeld School of Textile Design. At the school he trained industrial textile designers until 1938, the year when he emigrated to the Netherlands. At the end of 1938, he was appointed a director of the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zurich and of the school affiliated with it.
The following years Itten worked very hard. He served as a teacher and simultaneously held administrative posts at several arts and crafts museums and schools, for instance, from 1952 to 1953 he led the Museum and school of Arts and crafts in Zurich. Johannes Itten was also responsible for the Organization and management of the Rietberg Museum of art of the same city between 1950 and 1956. Working so intensively, Johannes Itten had practically no time for painting. Until his death in Zurich in 1967, Itten devoted himself to writing his theories about art and pedagogy.
(In this book, the world's foremost color theorist examine...)1973
Bergsee (A Mountain Lake)
Plakat für Ausstellung Baden-Baden
Die Fremden Kreise
Tower of Fire, parametric model
Farbenkugel in 7 Lichtstufen und 12 Tönen
Farbformen und Struktuten
Haus Des Weissen Mannes
Kreise und Quadrate
Portrait of a Girl
Composition in Orange and Blue-Green
Häuser im Schwarzwald
Der Bachsänger (Helge Lindberg)
"He who wishes to become a master of color must see, feel, and experience each individual color in its endless combinations with all other colors."
"Only those who love color are admitted to its beauty and immanent presence. It affords utility to all, but unveils its deeper mysteries only to its devotees."
"Color is life, for a world without color seems dead. As a flame produces light, light produces color. As intonation lends color to the spoken word, color lends spiritually realized sound to a form."
"Learning from books and teachers is like traveling by carriage, so we are told in the Veda. But, the carriage will serve only while one is on the highroad. He who reaches the end of the highroad will leave the carriage and walk afoot."
"If you, unknowing, are able to create masterpieces in color, then unknowledge is your way. But if you are unable to create masterpieces in color out of your unknowledge, then you ought to look for knowledge."
"The objective laws of form and color help to strengthen a person's powers and to expand his creative gift."