Matière Discussion and Workshop

Saturday, March 13 –1:30 to 3:00pm ET

with Fritz Horstman, Education Director, Josef & Anni Albers Foundation

Matière with moss and glass beads, photo by Joseph Albers.

“Matière with moss and glass beads, Black Mountain College”, 1938–49. Photo: Josef Albers. © 2021 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This free workshop held via Zoom and led by Fritz Horstman, Education Director at the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation, explores the concept of Matière (material, matter) as taught by Josef Albers at the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College. The session begins with a brief look at how Albers and others at the Bauhaus included the Matiére in their classroom experiments, and how it integrated into Black Mountain culture, and will then transition to hands-on activities and discussion.

You are welcome to participate, or just watch. To participate, please gather ahead of time a few sheets of plain white paper, scissors, and some materials from around the house and yard that have interesting textures or surface qualities – aluminum foil, dry spaghetti, moss, steel wool, bubble wrap, marbles, shaving cream, and fabric, for example.

Use #BMCmatiere to share your work with us on Instagram

Additional Resources

Active Archive digital exhibition created by UK interdisciplinary artists and educators Leap Then Look (BMCM+AC 2020)

More workshops for educators and families from the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation

Examples of student matiére from BMC (Josef & Anni Albers Foundation)

Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957 (Catalog for the exhibition curated by Helen Molesworth and Ruth Erickson, featuring the essay “Josef Albers: Photographs of Matières” by Michael Beggs)

Begin to See: The Photographers of Black Mountain College (Catalog from BMCM+AC exhibition curated by Julie J. Thomson, featuring an additional essay by Michael Beggs)

Active Archive: Process + Performance (Catalog for BMCM+AC exhibition curated by Active Archive resident Martha McDonald. emphasizing the use of paper folding and other Material Studies in Bauhaus and BMC pedagogy and performance)

The Original Bauhaus Workbook (Prestel, 2019), featuring 50 exercises from the Bauhaus, several of which deal with Material Studies.

To Open Eyes (Phaidon, 2009) by Fred Horowitz and Brenda Danilowitz

Object Lessons: The Bauhaus and Harvard (Yale University Press, 2021 – available for preorder). Featuring an essay co-authored by Fritz Hortsman describing a similar Matière workshop previously hosted at Harvard.