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Josef Albers (1888-1976)
THE MAXIMILIAN SCHELL ESTATE
Josef Albers (1888-1976)

Study for Homage to the Square: Nocturne

Details
Josef Albers (1888-1976)
Study for Homage to the Square: Nocturne
signed with the artist's monogram and dated 'A50-70' (lower right); signed, titled and dated 'Study for Homage to the Square: "Nocturne" Albers 1950-'70' (on the reverse)
oil on masonite
40.5 x 40.5 cm.
Conceived in 1950 and painted in 1970
Provenance
Private Collection, Baltimore, MD.
Christie's New York, 6 May 1986, Sale 6122, lot 36.
Sotheby's New York, 5 October 1989, Sale 5901, lot 70.
Private collection, Switzerland.

Brought to you by

Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming Josef Albers Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by The Anni and Josef Albers Foundation.

'If one says "red" - the name of color - and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.' (Josef Albers quoted in: Interaction in Color, New Haven 1963)

A classic example from Josef Albers' most notable series, Study for Homage to the Square: Nocturne displays coloured squares placed in a concentric arrangement. A pioneer of modernism and colour theory, Albers taught at the prestigious Bauhaus, with its strong utilitarian emphasis, placed equal importance on technical and artistic skill. In his writings on colour theory including his 1963 publication Interaction of Colour, Albers noted the way in which we experience colour varies based on our individual personalities and factors such as hue, dimension and placement. Under a careful arrangement of fluorescent lights, he worked on each painting in alternate light conditions, applying unmixed paints straight out of the tube with a palette knife, often starting with the centre square and working outwards. However systematic their execution, these paintings remain mysterious and enormously varied in mood and colour.

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