Variant VII from Ten Variants
View Similar Items
Josef AlbersVariant VII from Ten Variants
About the Artist
The German-born American painter, writer, and educator Josef Albers was a pioneer of 20th century modernism, and an innovative practitioner of color theory. With his wife, the textile artist and printmaker Anni Albers (1899–1994), he shaped the development of a generation of American artists and designers through his teaching at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and later at Yale University School of Art, where he was the chairman of the department of design from 1950–1958. Albers is widely known for his series of prints and paintings "Homages to the Square," which he created between 1950 and 1975. His influential volume on color theory The Interaction of Color was published in 1963.
Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany, and as a young man he studied art education, earning certification from the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin in 1915. He entered the legendary Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1920. The Bauhaus had been established by Walter Gropius in 1919, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, with the hope that its innovative curriculum would foster connections between architecture, art, and traditional crafts. In 1923 Albers began teaching the Vorkurs, the introductory class in which new students learned to work with each of the key artists’ materials, along with color theory, composition, construction and design.
Albers was a polymath, and the multidisciplinary environment of the Bauhaus was fertile ground for his artistic ambitions. When the school moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, he became a full professor, and in addition to glass and metal, he designed typefaces and furniture. While at the Bauhaus, Albers drew inspiration from the work of his colleagues, the color theorist Johannes Itten, and the painter, photographer, and designer László Moholy-Nagy, with whom he co-taught the Vorkurs.
In 1933, the Bauhaus was shut down due to pressure from the Nazi Party, which perceived the school as being sympathetic to communist intellectuals. As Albers’ wife Anni was Jewish, the couple resolved to leave Germany, and settled in rural North Carolina. The architect Philip Johnson helped make arrangements for Albers to join the faculty of Black Mountain College as the head of the painting program, where he remained until 1949. While at Black Mountain, both Josef and Anni Albers became influential mentors to American artists including Ruth Asawa, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg, while working alongside fellow professors Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham and William de Kooning.
In 1950, Albers joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art where he would head the newly established Department of Design until his retirement in 1958. In the 1950s, the Alberses began taking trips to Mexico, where the colors and forms of the local art and architecture inspired both artists.
In 1971, Albers became the first living artist whose work was the subject of a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Though they worked in different mediums, Josef and Anni Albers’ work shares a fascination with color and geometry. Josef Albers’ compositions from the "Homages to the Square" series, such as Formulation: Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B), from 1972, give deceptively simple shapes a novel vibrance as colors play off of one another. The hues in Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B) work in concert to give the flat surface the distinct appearance of a tunnel or other three-dimensional space; while the form on the left appears to move towards the viewer, the form on the right seems to lead directly into the canvas. Similarly, Anni Albers’ designs for textiles use graphic design to lend a sense of dynamism to flat works. Her Study for Unexecuted Wall Hanging (Bauhaus), from 1984 is a Mondrian-like pattern for a weaving in which different colors alternately recede and advance into the foreground, giving the image a sense of complexity and uncanny depth.
Josef Albers also created works of public art, including a delicate, geometric gold leaf mural called Two Structural Constellations for the lobby of the Corning Glass building in New York City in 1959. He designed a work called Two Portals for the lobby of the Time & Life Building in 1961, in which which and brown bands move towards two square panels made of bronze. Walter Gropius invited Albers to create a piece for the Pan Am Building, which he was designing with the architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons. Albers reworked an existing glass piece from his Bauhaus days called City, and, fittingly, renamed it Manhattan.
Find a collection of authentic Josef Albers art on 1stDibs.
- The Stone ForestBy Tie Feng JiangLocated in Austin, TXTiefeng Jiang Title: The Stone Forest Edition: 9/20 Super Low Edition! Medium: Serigraph on hand-made paper Measurement...Category
1990s Abstract Geometric Abstract PrintsMaterials
Lithograph, Handmade PaperPrice Upon Request
- Untitled (Fresh Air School)By Walasse TingLocated in Saint Augustine, FLArtist: Walasse Ting (Chinese-American, 1929-2010) Title: "Untitled (Fresh Air School)" Portfolio: Fresh Air School *Unsigned edition Year: 1972 Mediu...Category
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract PrintsMaterials
- Rose Art Museum (Open Wall) PosterBy Helen FrankenthalerLocated in Saint Augustine, FLArtist: (after) Helen Frankenthaler (American, 1928-2011) Title: "Rose Art Museum (Open Wall)" Year: 1981 Medium: Original Offset-Lithograph, Exhibition Poster on light wove paper Li...Category
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract PrintsMaterials
- Art 1981 Chicago PosterLocated in Saint Augustine, FLArtist: (after) Robert Motherwell (American, 1915-1992) Title: "Art 1981 Chicago" *Issued unsigned, though signed and dated by Motherwell in the plate (printed signature) upper right Year: 1981 Medium: Original Lithograph, Exhibition Poster on Dove paper Limited edition: 2,000. (There was also a signed and numbered edition of 150 on Arches Cover paper without margins or text) Printer: Roger Campbell and Lee Funderburg of Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, NY Publisher: Lakeside Group, Chicago, IL Reference: "The Prints of Robert Motherwell - A Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1984" - Belknap No. 249, page 247; "Robert Motherwell - The Complete Prints 1940-1991" - Engberg No. 282; "Tyler Graphics - Catalogue Raisonné, 1974-1985" - Tyler No. 410:RM29, page 246 Sheet size: 39.5" x 27.5". Condition: Never framed, has been professionally stored away for decades. Some minor edge wear. In excellent condition Notes: Printed in four colors: light tan, orange, deep red, and black. Poster produced for a special exhibition of various artists' work at the Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, IL from May 14-19, 1981. The image featured on this poster is Motherwell's 1977 collage "Untitled". This poster was the official poster for the 1981 Chicago International Art Exposition. Printer's imprint and artist's copyright lower center. GIA Gallery Poster Disclaimer: Not to be confused with thousands of contemporary inkjet/giclée/digital reproductions ignorantly or deliberately passed off as originals on the market today. The examples we offer here are the original period vintage (exhibition) posters, created and designed by, or under the supervision and authorization of the artist or their respective estate (posthumously), for various exhibitions and events in which they participated. If applicable, this poster is also fully documented within its respective artists' official catalogue raisonné of authentic graphic works, prints, and or posters. Biography: Robert Motherwell was born January 24, 1915, in Aberdeen, Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles at age 11, and in 1932 studied painting briefly at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Motherwell received a B.A. from Stanford University in 1937 and enrolled for graduate work later that year in the Department of Philosophy at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He traveled to Europe in 1938 for a year of study abroad. His first solo show was presented at the Raymond Duncan...Category
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract PrintsMaterials
- Glass and fruit dishBy Gabriel ZendelLocated in Paris, FRLithograph, 1959 Handsigned by the artist in pencil and numbered 30/350 48.00 cm. x 64.50 cm. | 18.9 in. x 25.39 in. (paper) 36.00 cm. x 49.00 cm. | 14.17 in. x 19.29 in. (image) Th...Category
1950s Abstract Abstract PrintsMaterials
- The CashierBy Niki de Saint PhalleLocated in Paris, FRLithograph, 1995 Handsigned by the artist in pencil and annotated HC 76.00 cm. x 56.00 cm. 29.92 in. x 22.05 in. (paper) From the "Méchant-Méchant" album A self-taught, multidisci...Category
1990s Abstract Abstract PrintsMaterials