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IMAGE GALLERY

"Homage to the Square" (1959) is reproduced from
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 3/3/2017

Josef Albers: Midnight and Noon

"The aseptic, almost militant simplicity of each of Albers's designs is the result of a long series of rejections — an arduous and complicated exercise of the element of choice," Elaine de Kooning wrote in ARTnews, 1950. "It is not surprising, therefore, that the artist tends to describe his technique in terms of what he renounces: 'no smock, no skylight, no studio, no palette, no easel, no brushes, no medium, no canvas.' (He works on a table in any room handy, and can keep a white linen suit immaculate throughout a painting session.) And, continuing to list his rejections in terms of style, he says 'no variation in texture or "matière," no personal handwriting, no stylization, no tricks, no "twinkling of the eyes." I want,' he concludes, 'to make my work as neutral as possible.' And so each single color and form in his work is clearly circumscribed, measurable and describable (the artist lists them in his spectacularly tiny handwriting on the back of each board). But the complex moral issues and attitudes toward society — the puritanical conviction — that a susceptible observer might find in the total effect of any one of his pictures, could not be so easily accounted for. This extra dimension is precisely intended; as Albers says: 'The concern of the artist is with the discrepancy between physical fact and psychological effect.'" Reproduced from Josef Albers: Midnight and Noon, new from David Zwirner Books, featured image is "Homage to the Square" (1959).



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