Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square 1963

Artwork details

Josef Albers 1888–1976
Study for Homage to the Square
Date 1963
Medium Oil paint on fibreboard
Dimensions Support: 762 x 762 mm
frame: 778 x 778 x 35 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Anni Albers, the artist's widow and the Josef Albers Foundation 1978
Not on display

Display caption

In 1950, at the age of 62, Albers began what would become his signature series, the Homage to the Square. Over the next 26 years, until his death in 1976, he produced hundreds of variations on the basic compositional scheme of three or four squares set inside each other, with the squares slightly gravitating towards the bottom edge. What may at first appear to be a very narrow conceptual framework reveals itself as one of extraordinary perceptual complexity. In 1965, he wrote of the series: ‘They all are of different palettes, and, therefore, so to speak, of different climates. Choice of the colours used, as well as their order, is aimed at an interaction - influencing and changing each other forth and back. Thus, character and feeling alter from painting to painting without any additional ‘hand writing’ or, so-called, texture. Though the underlying symmetrical and quasi-concentric order of squares remains the same in all paintings – in proportion and placement – these same squares group or single themselves, connect and separate in many different ways.’

December 2012

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