Josef Albers (1888-1976)
Josef Albers (1888-1976)

Study for Homage to the Square: With Saffron

Josef Albers (1888-1976)
Study for Homage to the Square: With Saffron
incised with the artist's monogram and date 'A 62' (lower right); signed, titled and dated again 'Study for Homage to the Square: "With Safron [sic]" Albers' 1962' (on the reverse)
oil on Masonite
24 x 24 in. (61 x 61 cm.)
Painted in 1962.
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
Private collection, Dallas
Robert Miller Gallery, New York
Pace Gallery, New York
Private collection, New Jersey
Anon. sale; Christie's, New York, 19 November 1992, lot 312
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, The Interaction of Color: A Presentation of Paintings and the Color Theory of Josef Albers, April-May 1963.
The work is registered in the catalogue raisonné of the paintings of Josef Albers as 1962.1.104.


Painted in 1962, Josef Albers’ Study for Homage to the Square: With Saffron demonstrates a symphony of color and form. An exquisite example of Albers’ celebrated series, Homage to the Square, this painting presents one of the typical arrangements the artist invented for his studies – four squares in subtle, varying layers of yellow and orange, placed in a precise formation. Critically juxtaposed with each other, Albers' painting brings to life the connections between the squares, which encapsulates the artist’s committed investigation of the ways humans perceive and experience color. Albers stated: "Seeing several of these paintings next to each other makes it obvious that each painting is an instrumentation in its own. This means that they are all of different palettes, and, therefore, so to speak, of different climates. Choice of the colors used, as well as their order, is aimed at an interaction - influencing and changing each other forth and back." (J. Albers "On My Homage to the Square", in Josef Albers, exh. cat., The Mayor Gallery, London, 1989, p. 31)
Albers embarked on this influential series in the early 1950s, shortly after becoming the chairman of the Department of Design at Yale University. Not only a fine artist, Albers had been committed in arts education where he occupied a series of teaching positions, from the Bauhaus in Germany to Black Mountain College when he moved to the United States. Albers’ seminal educational legacy prevails as he acted as a bridge between European avant-garde traditions and the generation of aspiring American Post-War artists.

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