Johannes Itten – Design and Form
translated by: Iakovos Potamianos, Yiota Vryoni
Design and Form is the most complete document of one of the land marks of modern education in art – the famous Basic Course at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany. Itten was the teacher who organized it at the invitation of Walter Gropius. First published in 1963 when Itten was still alive, the book has been revised and updated by Itten’s widow, Anneliese Itten, and includes new material from the basic course at the Bauhaus, as well as visual examples and descriptions of the refinements made by Itten in later courses in Berlin (1926 – 1932), Krefeld (1932 – 1938), and Zurich (1938 – 1960).
The basic course at the Bauhaus was designed as a trial period to judge students with varying educational backgrounds, to determine their creative talent, to help them in their choice of a career, and to teach them elementary design as a basis for future careers in the arts. Each of the over 200 illustrations reproduced here is described in detail to help the reader understand the purpose of art teaching. The students’ original works include studies of nature, pure forms and abstractions, three-dimensional work, and projects in the applied arts. In addition, the book includes exciting material on the evaluation of modern art education.
The book has universal appeal for a basic course as a means for individual creative growth and it can be used today by students and art teachers as a foundation for their own basic course.
Johannes Itten (1888 – 1967) concerned himself with the problems of design and color all his life. His color theory, which has been published in The art of color and in The elements of color (Student Edition), is a convincing synthesis of the knowledge of the great painter and the experience of the progressive educator, the two elements that informed Itten’s personality and his work.