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Plate II from the suite of eight plates entitled White Line Squares (Series I)

Print
1966 (printed)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Josef Albers became one of the most influential figures of the 20th century avant-garde. He worked in a variety of media but has become widely recognised through his later printed work, based on the exploration of colour.

In 1949 he wrote a definitive text on colour theory and soon after began work on the series of coloured squares and rectangles which came to dominate his work and which explored the idea of colour as an illusion, depending on context. "We do not see colours as they really are" he wrote "in our perception they alter one another" Although he began his experiments in this field with paint, he came to depend on the planographic print processes, particularly screen-print, because through them consistent evenness of colour could be produced easily and with great speed.

Object details

Category
Object type
TitlePlate II from the suite of eight plates entitled White Line Squares (Series I) (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Colour lithograph on paper
Brief description
Josef Albers: lithograph from the series 'White Line Squares (Series I)', American/German, 1966
Physical description
The colours in E.57 are greys.

A set of grey squares of different hues nesting one within another. On the outer square is a superimposed square defined as a line drawing rather than a solid mass. It is drawn as a thin white line. The effect is to make the grey on one side of the white line appear tonally different (albeit very subtly) from the grey on the other side. The squares are nesting so that the margins at the top and sides are wider than those at the base.
Dimensions
  • Printed surface height: 39.9cm
  • Printed surface width: 39.9cm
  • Sheet height: 52.6cm
  • Sheet width: 52.6cm
Styles
Production typeLimited edition
Copy number
125/125
Marks and inscriptions
A '66 W-L-S II 125-125 (signed with the artist's monogram, dated, inscribed with initials of title and number; all in pencil. Blind stamped with the publisher's mark.)
Credit line
Given by the Josef Albers Foundation
Summary
Josef Albers became one of the most influential figures of the 20th century avant-garde. He worked in a variety of media but has become widely recognised through his later printed work, based on the exploration of colour.

In 1949 he wrote a definitive text on colour theory and soon after began work on the series of coloured squares and rectangles which came to dominate his work and which explored the idea of colour as an illusion, depending on context. "We do not see colours as they really are" he wrote "in our perception they alter one another" Although he began his experiments in this field with paint, he came to depend on the planographic print processes, particularly screen-print, because through them consistent evenness of colour could be produced easily and with great speed.
Associated object
Bibliographic reference
Catalogue Raisonne: Nicolas Fox Weber [Ed.] and Brenda Danilowitz|: The Prints of Josef Albers. Connecticut, NewHaven, 2006. Cat. no.171.2
Collection
Accession number
E.57-1994

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Record createdFebruary 27, 2009
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