The University Libraries is proud to display work by Josef Albers, 1888-1976, on loan from the CU Art Museum. Featured in the Norlin 1st floor SW Underground Gallery are selections from the series “Formulation/Articulation, Vol. 1,” 1972 (gift from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Aron B. Katz to the CU Art Museum) and from the portfolio “Interaction of Color,” 1973 (gift of Polly and Mark Addison to the CU Art Museum).
Josef Albers was a German born American painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, writer, theorist and teacher. His work is informed by design elements influenced by his schooling and teaching at the Bauhaus. After the Bauhaus closed, Albers immigrated to the United States to teach, and he began pursuing abstract painting in a highly innovative way, incorporating geometric forms, design elements, and influences of American abstraction. Color plays a crucial role in Albers’ work, especially beginning in the 1950s.
In 1957, Albers started working on a book about the teaching and learning of color. The publication presented around two hundred studies drawn from Albers color studies and students’ work. Since the entire endeavor was concerned with color studies, it was essential to reproduce the classroom work, made from commercially manufactured papers of solid color, as exactly as possible. Four-color offset printing would result in a poor approximation of the original color, so he decided that to do the publication justice, the studies should be screenprinted. Published in 1963 by Yale University Press, Interaction of Color was a complicated production that involved three printing firms and custom-mixed inks. The color folios displayed in Norlin are from the 1973 German edition of Interaction of Color.
Throughout his career, Albers continued to refine and expand his ideas about color. Formulation/Articulation, in two volumes, is a selection of works from 40 years of Alber’s work and research, examining the visual potential of combining and recombining his formal color studies. The selections featured in Norlin are from volume 1 of this publication. (Taken from the show statement provided by the CU Art Museum.)
Photo: Josef Albers, American (1888-1976)/Interaction of Color: XVI-2, 1973/from the portfolio “Interaction of Color”/color folio 13 x 10 inches folded/ Gift of Polly and Mark Addison to the Polly and Mark Addison Collection, CU Art Museum, University of Colorado Boulder, 2010.09.01ap/Photo: CU Art Museum/© The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York