Handcrafted Prints Celebrate a Legendary Printmaker

by admin on December 30, 2013

This year, Object Agency’s letterpress holiday card — now a proud tradition — pays homage to Josef Albers’ Homage to the Square and to his life’s work as an artist, educator, and color visionary.

Every perception of colour is an illusion. We do not see colours as they really are. In our perception they alter one another.
Remark by Josef Albers around 1949, when he started Homage to the Square. Quoted in Abstract Art, 1990, Thames and Hudson Publishers, London

If one says “red” — the name of a 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, Interaction of Color, 1963, Yale University Press, New Haven

Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a printmaker, painter, sculptor, writer and teacher. He was the longest-serving member of the Bauhaus when it was closed under pressure from the Nazis in 1933. Albers and his wife, Anni Albers, were asked in the same year to teach art at the newly formed Black Mountain College in North Carolina. In 1950 Albers was appointed chairman of the Department of Design at Yale University, a post he retained until 1958. His teaching of color at Yale led to the publication of Interaction of Color, a book that was later translated into eight languages as one of the major tools of art teaching throughout the world. In it Albers investigated the properties of color including the illusory ability of opaque colors to appear translucent and overlapping, an effect he had begun to explore in 1950 in his best-known series of works, Homage to the Square, on which he was occupied until his death. Overall, Albers’ work points to the beauty of simple geometry and technical proficiency and to “the discrepancy between physical fact and psychic effect,” which the artist regarded as one of the major goals of his art. Excerpted from moma.org.

To learn more, link to The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the only nonprofit organization in the United States devoted to preserving and promoting the enduring achievements of these legendary artists and art educators.

See an amazing and truly interactive Interaction of Color via the recent 50th Anniversary
iPad app published by Yale University Press.

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