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Josef Albers
Formulation: Articulation, Folio I / Folder 19, "Homage to the Square" (left-hand image), 1972
screenprint
sheet: 15 x 40 in. (38.1 x 101.6 cm)
Josef Albers
Formulation: Articulation, Folio I / Folder 19, "Homage to the Square" (right-hand image), 1972
screenprint
sheet: 15 x 40 in. (38.1 x 101.6 cm)

2017 Gainesville, Florida

Poetic and Political explores two realms of perception often considered oppositional but more likely to work in tandem to make a rich, provocative and compelling visual impact. The exhibition juxtaposes the work of Josef Albers, a single artist focused exclusively on the psychic and emotive qualities of color, with African and African American artists who confront the historic and contemporary traces of colonialism as they contribute to the power of healing and renewal. Both aesthetic and political trajectories intertwine, demanding sensitivity, keen perception, and a heightened awareness of context, change and transformation.

Josef Albers's famous series, Homage to the Square and several prints from the portfolio, Formulation: Articulation, Volume I, are remarkably poetic. Albers believed that color creates a psychic and emotional effect. Even so, his work was based on a mathematically determined format. Albers experimented with the relativity of color, how it changes through juxtaposition, placement and interaction with other colors. Throughout his work, Albers found a link between formal elements in art and social behavior.

African and African American artists in the exhibition combine the poetic with a focus on history and politics. The story of the Diaspora persists in these works. Art historian T. J. Demos argues that the colonial past still haunts Africa because the past has not really passed. Artists in this installation contest historic amnesia and confront the material traces and psychic scars of colonialism while acknowledging and contributing to the power of healing and reconciliation in Africa and in the Diaspora. Many artists focus on the present, concerned with national and personal identity amidst economic disparity and changing social tradition. Works by El Anatsui, William Kentridge, Zanele Muholi, Zohra Opoku and Yelimane Fall are just a few of the works made from the finest aesthetic and poetic practice.

Installation view, Pas de deux: Römisch Germanisches Kolumba, Kolumba, Kunstmuseum des Erzbistums Köln, 2017. Photo courtesy of Kolumba

2017 Cologne

Pas de deux: Römisch Germanisches Kolumba celebrates the museum's tenth anniversary. Taking the title from classical ballet (the "step of two"), the show considers themes such as time and space, preciousness and transcendence, and the back-and-forth between ancient, medieval, and the present.

Josef Albers
Album cover for Persuasive Percussion, Vol. 3, 1960
offset lithograph
1976.17.B3
Josef Albers
Album cover for Persuasive Percussion, 1959
offset lithograph
Josef Albers
Album cover for Provocative Percussion, Vol. 3, 1961
offset lithograph
1976.17.B5
Josef Albers
Album cover for Provocative Percussion, 1959
offset lithograph

2017 New York

Hear, See, Play: Designing with Sound is a hands-on exhibition focusing on the growing field of sound design, which gives an audible voice to products, brands, and interfaces. Through sound, our digital devices and products tell us when we have completed a task, received a message, or achieved a goal. Now imagine this world of products with no sound—no chimes, buzzes, or rings. How does the lack of sound diminish the usefulness of products? How does sound enhance and inform your experience? Visitors are invited to consider these questions and become sound designers in an interactive display.

Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square, 1965
oil on masonite
24 x 24 in. (60.9 x 60.9 cm)
1976.1.586

2017 London + Düsseldorf

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White investigates where and when grisaille painting was used and to what effect: from early religious works to paintings that emulate sculpture or respond to other media such as printmaking, photography, and film. Comprising works on glass, vellum, ceramic, silk, wood, and canvas from the Renaissance to today by artists such as Leonardo, Rembrandt, Degas, Picasso, Josef Albers, and Gerhard Richter, Monochrome encourages visitors to trace the fascinating but little-studied history of black-and-white painting.

​Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square, 1964
oil on blotting paper
12 1/8 x 13 1/8 in. (30.8 x 33.3 cm)
Private collection

2018 New York

Colors features work by over twenty-five artists, including Josef Albers, Jack Bush, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Robert Motherwell, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Kurt Schwitters, and Frank Stella, among others. The exhibition is inspired by an original work of poetry by Zoe Kusyk titled "Colors," inspired by Larry Poons's Untitled, 77-A-9, 1977. The selection of paintings, works on paper, and collages celebrates numerous artists whose colors speak in imaginative ways with Zoe's closing words: "Separate colors, when let live and die, become one."

Josef Albers
Study for Homage to the Square, 1963
oil on masonite
16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 cm)
1976.1.155
Anni Albers
Textile sample, n.d.
jute, cotton, metallic fiber, and linen
4 3/8 x 7 1/4 in. (11.1 x 18.4 cm)
1994.15.87

2018 Siena + Cork + Zagreb

Voyage Inside a Blind Experience (VIBE) is an exhibition that has equal interest for seeing and for visually impaired people, examining the abstract works of Josef and Anni Albers. The project developed from a collaboration between Atlante Servizi Culturali and the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, together with the Istituto dei Ciechi di Milano, and with the support of the three European museums presenting the exhibition.

Josef and Anni Albers in 1935
Anni Albers
Yellow Meander, 1970
screenprint
28 x 24 in. (71.1 x 61 cm)
1994.11.16
Anni Albers
Orange Meander, 1970
screenprint
28 x 24 in. (71.1 x 61 cm)
1994.11.15
Josef Albers
Teopanzolco, Cuernavaca, ca. 1936–39
photograph
9 5/8 x 7 11/16 in. (24.5 x 19.5 cm)
1976.7.453

2018 Metz, France

Modern Couples considers the work of around forty artist couples including Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray and Lee Miller, and Charles and Ray Eames. With a comprehensive mix of visual arts, architecture, design, cinema, and literature from the first half of the twentieth century, the exhibition displays masterpieces from Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, and from international prestigious collections. Modern Couples looks into creative pair-work and the mechanisms of an artistic companionship: does each approach dissolve into one, are they complementary, or do they oppose each other? The very idea of modernity, as impacted by social, artistic, and technical evolutions, is reviewed here through the prism of the couple.

Josef Albers
Oscillating (C), 1940-45
oil on masonite
27 x 24 in. (68.6 x 61 cm)
1976.1.1367
Josef Albers
Untitled (Maya Temple, Chichen Itza, Mexico), ca. 1940
gelatin silver print
sheet: 5 1/8 x 6 15/16 in. (13 x 17.6 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Josef Albers
Untitled, ca. 1940
oil on blotting paper
16 1/2 x 28 in. (41.9 x 71.1 cm)
1976.2.254
Josef Albers
Color study for a Variant/Adobe, 1947
oil on blotting paper
19 x 24 1/8 in. (48.3 x 61.4 cm)
1976.2.247
Installation view, Josef Albers in Mexico, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017. Photo: David Heald
Installation view, Josef Albers in Mexico, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017. Photo: David Heald
Installation view, Josef Albers in Mexico, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017. Photo: David Heald
Installation view, Josef Albers in Mexico, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017. Photo: David Heald
Installation view, Josef Albers in Mexico, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2017. Photo: David Heald

2017 New York + Venice

Josef Albers in Mexico brings together the artist's photographs and photo collages from the Guggenheim's collection and various lenders. These works, many of which have never been exhibited publicly, suggest a nuanced relationship between the forms and motifs of pre-Columbian monuments and the artist's iconic abstract canvases.

Albers's innovative approach to photography remains an underappreciated aspect of his career. On his first trip to Mexico, in 1935, Albers encountered the magnificent architecture of ancient Mesoamerica. He later remarked in a letter to Vasily Kandinsky, a former colleague at the Bauhaus, "Mexico is truly the promised land of abstract art." With his wife, artist Anni Albers, Josef visited Mexico and other Latin American countries nearly a dozen times from 1935 to 1967. They saw numerous archeological sites and monuments, especially in Mexico and Peru. On each visit, Josef took hundreds of black-and-white photographs of the pyramids, shrines, and sanctuaries at these sites, often grouping multiple images printed at various scales onto eight by ten inch sheets.

Albers's experiences in Latin America offer an essential context for understanding his paintings and prints, particularly from his Homage to the Square and Variant/Adobe series, examples of which are featured in this show.

Anni Albers
Blue Meander, 1970
screenprint
sheet: 28 x 24 in. (71 x 61 cm)
1994.11.14

2018 Madrid

VII Biennial of Contemporary Art recognizes and disseminates the work of artists with disabilities, enhancing their participation in and attracting the attention of the global art world. This is the seventh edition of the biennial, featuring the work of Anni Albers, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Francisco de Goya, Dorothea Lange, and Eusebio Sempere Juan, among many others.

Anni Albers
Study for unexecuted wallhanging, 1926
gouache with pencil on photo offset paper
15 x 9 3/4 in. (38.1 x 24.7 cm)
1994.10.1
Anni Albers
With Verticals, 1946
cotton and linen
61 × 46.5 in. (154.9 × 118.1 cm)
2004.12.1
Anni Albers
Red and Blue Layers, 1954
cotton
24 1/4 × 14 3/4 in. (61.6 × 37.8 cm)
1998.12.1
Anni Albers
Knot, 1947
gouache on paper
17 × 20 in. (43.2 × 51 cm)
1994.10.3

2018 Düsseldorf + London

Anni Albers is a full-scale retrospective bringing together the most important examples of her work, from beautiful small-scale creations to wall hangings. The exhibition further explores the textiles Albers designed for mass-production and her use of new technologies and synthetic fibers. As a student at the radical and ostensibly egalitarian Bauhaus art school, Anni Albers, like other women, was barred from becoming a painter. Instead she enrolled in the weaving workshop and made textiles her means of expression. Albers rose to become an influential figure, exploring the technical limits of hand-weaving to pioneer innovative uses of woven fabric as art, architecture, and design.

Anni Albers
Free-hanging room divider, 1949
cellophane and cord
94 x 32 1/2 in. (238.7 x 82.5 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, 409.1960
Anni Albers
Free-hanging room divider, 1949
cotton, cellophane, and braided horsehair
87 x 32 1/2 in. (221 x 82.5 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, 408.1960
Josef Albers
Bauhaus stencil lettering system (Kombinations-Schrift), 1926–28
milk glass and painted wood
24 1/8 x 23 7/8 in. (61.3 x 60.6 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, 216.1957

2018 Melbourne, Australia

MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art provides a unique survey of the MoMA's iconic collection. Consisting of approximately 200 key works, arranged chronologically into eight thematic sections, the exhibition traces the development of art and design from late-nineteenth-century urban and industrial transformation, through to the digital and global present. Works by pioneering cubist and futurist artists, including Pablo Picasso and Umberto Boccioni, appear alongside the radically abstracted forms present in works by such artists as Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, the surreal visual language of paintings by artists like Salvador Dalí and Frida Kahlo, and the spontaneity and tactility advanced in works by Alexander Calder and Jackson Pollock, and other prominent Abstract Expressionist artists. Developments in art from the 1960s, from Minimalism through Post Modernism, are explored with the work of Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Andy Warhol, Lynda Benglis, Sol LeWitt, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, and Keith Haring, among others. Significant works of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century art, including major pieces by Kara Walker, Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky, Olafur Eliasson, Huang Yong Ping, Mona Hatoum, El Anatsui, and Camille Henrot, foreground ideas that inform much contemporary art, such as those around cultural and national identity, and mobility in a globalized world.

2018 Wheelers Hill, Australia

Josef Albers
Homage to the Square: New Gate, 1951
oil on masonite
1976.1.702
Josef Albers
Gitterbild (Grid Mounted), ca. 1921-22
glass assemblage
12 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (32.4 x 28.9 cm)
1976.6.21
Josef Albers
Park, ca. 1923
glass, metal, wire, and paint
19 1/2 × 15 in. (49.5 × 38.1 cm)
1992.6.28
Josef Albers
Design for a universal typeface, ca. 1926
ink and pencil on paper
8 5/16 x 11 3/4 in. (21.1 x 29.8 cm)
1976.3.124
Josef Albers
Tea glass with saucer and stirrer, 1925
heat resistant glass, chrome-plated steel, ebony, porcelain
Glass: 2 1/4 × 3 1/2 in. (5.7 × 8.9 cm)
Saucer: 4 1/4 in. (10.5 cm) diameter
Stirrer: 4 × 1/2 in. (10.3 × 1.1 cm)
2010.17.1
Josef Albers
Tenayuca I, 1942
oil on masonite
20 x 35 3/4 in. (50.8 x 90.8 cm)
2017.1.1

2018 Essen

Josef Albers: Interaction presents approximately 130 works by the German-born artist at the Villa Hügel, the former residence of the industrialist family Krupp in Essen. The retrospective shows a broad range of Albers's work, including paintings, glass and paper works, photographs, and furniture. The exhibition begins with Albers's time at the Bauhaus and then continues to his years in America, exploring themes such as his interest in Mexican landscape and culture and his dedication to the interaction of color in his series, Homage to the Square. A spectacular selection of large-sized paintings from the United States, Germany, and Switzerland represents what it means to think color. Albers said: "Color challenges me as the most relative medium in art."