Albers Again or What Colour Does




“In science one plus one is always two, in art it can be three, or more.”

Formulation : Articulation is a lavishly big book published by Thames and Hudson in 2006 and is really worth savouring.  T.G. Rosenthal in the preface goes as far as to describe it as one of the great monuments of twentieth – century abstraction. It is the summation of Josef Albers’ life works, a body of work which included over 1000 of his famous square paintings. When asked about the technical method he had used for the Homage to the Square paintings he retold how his father had taught him to paint doors starting in the middle to avoid getting his cuffs dirty and be able to catch the drips! Here we can foresee the methodical, practical and craftsman-like nature of his practice and the connection to the Bauhaus ideals.

This extract taken from The Principles of the Bauhaus Manifesto shows the importance placed on training and systematic experimentation which illuminates the approach Albers’ takes in his exploration of colour:

“Art itself cannot be taught, but craft certainly can be. Architects, painters and sculptors are craftsmen in the original and true sense of the word.”

What Albers gives us is here is colour galore to compare and contrast, concordant and discordant, action, reaction and interaction. This captivating book provides a great deal of exercise for our eyes!


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