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Lot No. 1505


Josef Albers *


Josef Albers * - Contemporary Art

(Bottrop 1888–1976 New Haven) Homage to the Square: “Spring In”, monogrammed, dated A62, on reverse titled, signed, dated Albers 1962, and with details of the materials used including colours, oil on masonite, 60 x 60 cm, framed, (PP)

The work is registered by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation under the no. #1962.1.88 and will be included in the catalogue raisonné of paintings by Josef Albers, currently being compiled by the foundation (letter from Nicholas Fox Weber, dated 25 April 2009, Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, is available).

Provenance:
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Private Collection, Italy

Exhibition:
Josef Albers: The American Years, The Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, October-December 1965 (label on reverse)

The present work Homage to the Square: Spring in by Josef Albers is a work from his Homage to the Square series. Josef Albers’s training included studies at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where he taught from 1923 onwards. After the Bauhaus was closed by the National Socialists 1933, Albers was offered a position at Black Mountain College in Ashville in North Carolina, prompting his emigration to the USA. This move marked the beginning of a new period in Josef Albers’ work. He began to test the interactions between colour, form, line and surface, whilst taking into account the subjectivity of optical perception. His aim is for each of his works to be created anew in accordance with the individual perception of each viewer. The key player in this performance is colour, with its own means of expression. Josef Albers plays with the ways in which colours interact, and the changes this has on their impact. He wrote the text, Interaction of Color, a notable presentation of his theories of colour. His intention was to show that, depending upon their arrangement, various colours could be perceived as similar, and one and the same colour can vary. He regarded the surface of his paintings for the Homage to the Square series as an area upon which to present colour. A neutral shape, offering no indication of experience in terms of history or location, but rather a stage upon which the colours could speak for themselves. All the paintings consist of three or four nested squares of different colours. With shapes based on precise mathematical calculations, his works simultaneously appear both flat and three-dimensional. A purely concentric order would not evoke the same level of tension. And so the works become icons, animating the viewer to meditation. This idea played an important role for Josef Albers, for he was himself a major collector of icons and an admirer of objects which had the ability to invoke a meditative response. He drew inspiration for the series from the architecture of Central America which he studied on his many travels, documenting his impressions in the form of collages of postcards and photographs. These depict step-like forms, shapes within shapes, retreating and facing us, light and shadow. It was the art of ancient cultures which showed Josef Albers how much there was to discover in simple, regular shapes. Josef Albers’ most notable students include Cy Twombly, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Kenneth Noland. (Nicholas Fox Weber, in Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Ed.): Kulturen, Vienna 1990.)

Specialist: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at

16.05.2013 - 19:00

Realized price: **
EUR 244,300.-
Estimate:
EUR 160,000.- to EUR 220,000.-

Josef Albers *


(Bottrop 1888–1976 New Haven) Homage to the Square: “Spring In”, monogrammed, dated A62, on reverse titled, signed, dated Albers 1962, and with details of the materials used including colours, oil on masonite, 60 x 60 cm, framed, (PP)

The work is registered by the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation under the no. #1962.1.88 and will be included in the catalogue raisonné of paintings by Josef Albers, currently being compiled by the foundation (letter from Nicholas Fox Weber, dated 25 April 2009, Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, is available).

Provenance:
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Private Collection, Italy

Exhibition:
Josef Albers: The American Years, The Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, October-December 1965 (label on reverse)

The present work Homage to the Square: Spring in by Josef Albers is a work from his Homage to the Square series. Josef Albers’s training included studies at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where he taught from 1923 onwards. After the Bauhaus was closed by the National Socialists 1933, Albers was offered a position at Black Mountain College in Ashville in North Carolina, prompting his emigration to the USA. This move marked the beginning of a new period in Josef Albers’ work. He began to test the interactions between colour, form, line and surface, whilst taking into account the subjectivity of optical perception. His aim is for each of his works to be created anew in accordance with the individual perception of each viewer. The key player in this performance is colour, with its own means of expression. Josef Albers plays with the ways in which colours interact, and the changes this has on their impact. He wrote the text, Interaction of Color, a notable presentation of his theories of colour. His intention was to show that, depending upon their arrangement, various colours could be perceived as similar, and one and the same colour can vary. He regarded the surface of his paintings for the Homage to the Square series as an area upon which to present colour. A neutral shape, offering no indication of experience in terms of history or location, but rather a stage upon which the colours could speak for themselves. All the paintings consist of three or four nested squares of different colours. With shapes based on precise mathematical calculations, his works simultaneously appear both flat and three-dimensional. A purely concentric order would not evoke the same level of tension. And so the works become icons, animating the viewer to meditation. This idea played an important role for Josef Albers, for he was himself a major collector of icons and an admirer of objects which had the ability to invoke a meditative response. He drew inspiration for the series from the architecture of Central America which he studied on his many travels, documenting his impressions in the form of collages of postcards and photographs. These depict step-like forms, shapes within shapes, retreating and facing us, light and shadow. It was the art of ancient cultures which showed Josef Albers how much there was to discover in simple, regular shapes. Josef Albers’ most notable students include Cy Twombly, John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Kenneth Noland. (Nicholas Fox Weber, in Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (Ed.): Kulturen, Vienna 1990.)

Specialist: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Contemporary Art
Date: 16.05.2013 - 19:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 04.05. - 16.05.2013


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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