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Lot n° 40

Josef Albers

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Josef Albers Study for Homage to the Square 1967 Oil on masonite 60.7 x 60.7 cm. Framed. Monogrammed and dated 'A67'. Titled 'Study for Homage to the Square' verso on masonite as well as with dimensions and several lines of information on the work. - With studio and minor traces of age. The present work is registered in The Anni and Josef Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut. We would like to thank Jeannette Redensek, Bethany, Connecticut, for further information. Provenance Estate of Josef Albers; Josef Albers Foundation, Bethany, Connecticut; Galerie Denise René, Paris (with label on the reverse) (1991); private collection, Belgium Exhibitions Paris 1987 (Galerie Denise René), Josef Albers (with label on the back) Madrid 1987 (Galeria Theo), Josef Albers, Obras 1955-1973, exhib.cat.no.21 (with sticker on the back) For 26 years, Josef Albers devoted himself to his most famous series of works, which he called "Homage to the Square". These works, in which he declines the same composition of interlocking color squares, are each in themselves a tribute to color and its individual, subjective perception. The artist's affinity for mathematics underlies the series of works. He developed the compositional scheme around 1950; in the final picture solution, the squares are shifted downwards, resulting in an optical compression and the impression of gravity seemingly acting on the squares. Albers works the accurate forms freehand from the inside out with great care, using an enormous variety of different pigments over the years. He places extraordinary value on the manual process and the resulting expressiveness of the color surface. The colors constantly interact with each other in the same basic composition, pushing against and into each other, seeming to float in front of each other or sink into each other. "Painting means letting the paint act," writes Josef Albers, "acting means changing the character and behavior, the mood and the tempo. An actor makes us forget his name and his personal characteristics. He creates an illusion and acts as someone other than who he actually is. Color that acts loses its identity, appears as a different color, brighter or darker, more or less intense, more luminous or duller, warmer or colder..." (quoted from: Josef Albers, Interaction, exhib.cat. Villa Hügel, Essen 2018, p.189f.).

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