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1-A. Plate 1 of the suite 'Embossed Linear Constructions'

Print
1969 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Josef Albers became one of the most influential figures of the 20th century avant-garde, with his systematic presentation of spatial ambivalence and paradox, made through numberless variations on geometric themes and juxtapositions of colour in the format of rectangle and square.

he worked in a wide variety of media and in his printmaking he produced many prints in monochrome and experimented with blind embossing where, through the total elimination of colour, the line partially de-materializes.

This particular set of prints were made with the assistance of an engineeering programmer and used an automatic engraving mill to cut the images into the printing plates. As such they demonstrate how clearly Albers understood the contribution modern technology could make to his explorations of visual perception.

Object details

Category
Object type
Title1-A. Plate 1 of the suite 'Embossed Linear Constructions' (assigned by artist)
Materials and techniques
Inkless embossed engraving on paper
Brief description
Josef Albers: plate 1 from the suite Embossed Linear Constructions 1969
Physical description
this is one of a set of six images which are variations on a single theme: two geometric 'constructions' which resemble elaborately folded cartons, or compilations of boxes of differents widths and depths, floating in space. The defining outlines are placed predominantly diagonal to the picture frame rather than parallel to it. They create a variety and ambiguity of spatial articulation. The two constructions are side by side and are formally very close to each other but with slight variations which differentiate them from each other.
Dimensions
  • Sheet height: 51.3cm
  • Sheet width: 66.4cm
  • Printed surface height: 20.5cm
  • Printed surface width: 45.9cm
Styles
Production typeLimited edition
Marks and inscriptions
A'69 ELC 100/100 (Signed with the artist's monogram and dated in pencil; inscribed ELC [Embossed Linear Constructions] numbered and numbered with individual serial number. Blind stamped with the chop mark of the printer/publisher.)
Credit line
Given by the Josef Albers Foundation
Production
Attribution note: The technique by which these prints were produced in 1969 represents a development from the blind etching used by Albers in his 'Intaglio Solo' series of the late '50s and early '60s. Kenneth Tyler, master printer at Gemini GEL described this process:" The very precise line drawings of Albers dictated the use of mechanical means to assimilate his drawings into embossings. Investigations led to a system of programmed tape engraving. Collaboration between the artist, myself and an engineering programmer, established the exact profiles for each line and the proper thicknes of paper. The engineering programmer translated the original artist's drawing to a digital mylar tape. The tape then directed an automatic engraving mill, with specially designed cutting heads, which cut into the printing plates the mirror image of the original drawings. Embossing was executed in a hydraulic forming machine. The use of heat and excessive pressure secured the image permanently into the mould made paper fibers."
Summary
Josef Albers became one of the most influential figures of the 20th century avant-garde, with his systematic presentation of spatial ambivalence and paradox, made through numberless variations on geometric themes and juxtapositions of colour in the format of rectangle and square.

he worked in a wide variety of media and in his printmaking he produced many prints in monochrome and experimented with blind embossing where, through the total elimination of colour, the line partially de-materializes.

This particular set of prints were made with the assistance of an engineeering programmer and used an automatic engraving mill to cut the images into the printing plates. As such they demonstrate how clearly Albers understood the contribution modern technology could make to his explorations of visual perception.
Associated objects
Bibliographic reference
Catalogue Raisonne: Nicholas Fox-Weber [Ed.] Brenda Danilowitz: The Prints of Josef Albers 1915-1976. Hudson Hills Press, New York, 2006. cat. no.186.1
Other number
100/100
Collection
Accession number
E.60:1-1994

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Record createdMarch 6, 2009
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