Josef Albers in America: A Peek Behind the Color Curtain

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“Juxtaposing two colors puts me in a state of intense excitement”  –Josef Albers
Color Study for Homage to the Square
oil and graphite on blotting paper with varnish
An exhibition that began in Germany and worked its way around Europe has finally landed in the States at the Morgan Library & Museum. Josef Albers in America gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the work of this German-born artist, most famous for his studies of color and the series, Homage to the Square.
It’s interesting to see what came before that famous colored squares series; how much work went into choosing just the right pigments and color combinations. There are even notes carved into the paint and scribbled in the margins, notes like “Try Again.”
I found the opening pieces most interesting, as squares that play with perspective and color do more than just with color alone. His three “Studies for a Kinetic” placed side-by-side, give three different versions of the same lines becoming squares, each playing with the canvas space in its own way based on the angles and colors chosen. But it wasn’t perspective that most interested Albers, who once described the square as “the dish I serve my craziness about color in.”
Read the rest of my review where it’s published (woohoo!) on Woman Around Town
Study for a Kinetic, ca. 1945
oil and graphite on blotting paper
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