Museum Folkwang
Homage to the Square, White Island
  • Josef Albers
  • Homage to the Square, White Island, 1961

  • Oil on hardboard
  • 121,5 x 121,5 cm
  • Acquired in 1967
  • Inv. G 355
  • CommentaryAlbers had already been working in his first job as teacher when he took up art. His artistic training led him to Essen, where he attended the Handwerker- und Kunstgewerbeschule (later Folkwangschule), Berlin and Munich as well as to the Bauhaus in Weimar (from 1920); there he was taught by Johannes Itten among others. After Itten’s departure, Albers took of the direction of the preliminary course at taught in the so-called texture studies. In the USA where he emigrated in 1933, Albers taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina (to 1949) and at Yale University in New Haven/Connecticut. Among his American students were Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Eva Hesse and Richard Serra, to name but a few.

    In the series ›Homage to a Square‹, begun in 1950 Albers took up the theme of optical perception of colors and their interaction in various combinations – a scientific and artistic question which he also explored theoretically (›Interaction of Color‹, 1963). The two-dimensional construction of ›Homage to the Square‹, for which Albers defined four variations and five formats, results from a vertically centered but horizontally downwardly shifted arrangement of different colored squares of various sizes. The colors give rhythm to the progressive staggering of squares and give them a spatial quality.
    The artist and teacher Josef Albers is today seen as one of the most important intermediary between European Avant-garde abstract painting before the Second War and US art after 1945 – color field painting, ‘hard edge painting and minimalism.
  • Provenance1967, Josef Albers, New Haven, Conn.
  • Obj_Id: 3,231
  • Obj_Internet_S: Highlight
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: Homage to the Square, White Island
  • Obj_Title2_S:
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Homage to the Square, White Island Homage to the Square, White Island Huldigung an das Quadrat, White Island
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1961
  • Jahr von: 1,961
  • Jahr bis: 1,961
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 355
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0355
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 121,5 x 121,5 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Oil on hardboard
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Oil on hardboard
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Acquired in 1967
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort): Internal Exhibition: Sammlung 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, Neubau
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Commentary
Artists
Provenance

Albers had already been working in his first job as teacher when he took up art. His artistic training led him to Essen, where he attended the Handwerker- und Kunstgewerbeschule (later Folkwangschule), Berlin and Munich as well as to the Bauhaus in Weimar (from 1920); there he was taught by Johannes Itten among others. After Itten’s departure, Albers took of the direction of the preliminary course at taught in the so-called texture studies. In the USA where he emigrated in 1933, Albers taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina (to 1949) and at Yale University in New Haven/Connecticut. Among his American students were Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Eva Hesse and Richard Serra, to name but a few.

In the series ›Homage to a Square‹, begun in 1950 Albers took up the theme of optical perception of colors and their interaction in various combinations – a scientific and artistic question which he also explored theoretically (›Interaction of Color‹, 1963). The two-dimensional construction of ›Homage to the Square‹, for which Albers defined four variations and five formats, results from a vertically centered but horizontally downwardly shifted arrangement of different colored squares of various sizes. The colors give rhythm to the progressive staggering of squares and give them a spatial quality.
The artist and teacher Josef Albers is today seen as one of the most important intermediary between European Avant-garde abstract painting before the Second War and US art after 1945 – color field painting, ‘hard edge painting and minimalism.