Josef Albers

Josef Albers
Homage to the Square: Greek Island, 1967
Add to favorites 

Currently not on show

Josef Albers
Homage to the Square: Greek Island, 1967

Oil on fiberboard, 60.5 x 60.5 cm, Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel

Homage to the Square: Greek Island belongs to Josef Albers’ most celebrated series of the same name. All the pictures show three or four squares that are arranged one inside the other according to a strictly rational principle. Each square thereby repeats the original pictorial plane on a progressively smaller or larger scale. The compositional concept is always the same; only the colours change. Albers did not mix the paints himself, but selected each colour directly from the tube on the basis of a pre-established principle, noting the relevant article number neatly on the back of the picture. The effect created by the juxtaposition of colours, with no linear divide, is astonishing. The principle of strictly controlled serial development lends each Homage to the Square an overwhelming visual impact whose richness defies all expectation.

Josef Albers

1888, Bottrop (Germany) – 1976, New Haven, Connecticut Josef Albers first trained as a schoolteacher, then as an artist. He studied, among others, at the Academies of Fine Arts in Berlin and Munich. In 1925 he qualified as an architect, then in 1930 was appointed deputy director of the Bauhaus in Weimar. When the Nazis closed down the Bauhaus, Albers and his wife emigrated to the USA, where they lived until 1956. Inspired by Cézanne, Matisse and Mondrian, he experimented with the impact of colour, form, line and plane. Based on the insights drawn from his work on the subjectivity of visual perception, he developed the series Homage to the Square. He was twice invited to show at the documenta (1955 and 1968). A large part of his estate is now held by the Josef-Albers-Museum in Bottrop, where he was born.

Station