“Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. I prefer to see with closed eyes.”
Josef Albers spent his life exploring spatial ambivalence through variations on geometric themes. Most famous for his “Home to the Square” series, Albers also explored line-based forms that became increasingly detailed and complex from the 1940’s to the 1960’s.
“It is about fact and poetry, mechanics and art, discipline and freedom.”
Nicholas Fox Weber
The 13 years Albers had spent at the Bauhaus, as a student and subsequently as a teacher, played a definitive role in his balance between artistic creativity and exacting craftsmanship. His vocabulary was joyful, mischievous, and reductivist. In the “Interlinear” lithograph, one perceives three-dimensional imagery and yet when one follows the lines, he has created a visual contradiction. This spatial ambivalence is furthered by the preciseness of the lines contrasting with the softness of the vertical margins where the ink was not applied to total opacity. In the “W + P” suite, Albers took a woodblock he had made in the 1940’s and made a series of works utilizing paper stencils on the block to allow for variation in imagery without changing the matrix.
“Art is concerned with the HOW, not the WHAT; not with literal content, but its performance of the content. The performance —how it is done— that is the content of Art.”