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Plate 10 from the suite of ten entitled 'White Embossing on Gray'.

Print
1971 (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. The suite 'White Embossings on Gray' (WEG) are an extension of ideas formulated in 'Embossed Linear Constructions' made in 1969, where, through the total elimination of colour, the line partially de-materializes.

In WEG he used the same automatic engraving mill to cut the images into the printing plates, but instead of printing blind, the plates were also inked. As the achievement of a clean line under such conditions was difficult, a paper 'Roleaf' was specifically developed for Albers to use for this suite.

Object details

Category
Object type
TitlePlate 10 from the suite of ten entitled 'White Embossing on Gray'.
Materials and techniques
Inked embossed engravings
Brief description
Josef Albers: Print - White Embossing on Gray X
Physical description
white line abstract geometric pattern on gray ground
Dimensions
  • Printed surface height: 58.5cm
  • Printed surface width: 39.4cm
Style
Copy number
115/125
Marks and inscriptions
A '71 WEG X 115/125 (Signed with the artist's monogram, dated, inscribed with title [WEG= White Embossing on Gray], and numbered, all in pencil. Blind stamped with Gemini's chop mark.)
Credit line
Given by the Josef Albers Foundation
Object history
Plates: E.66.1-10-1994 Portfolio: E.66.11-1994 The technique used to produce this suite is a development of that used to produce Embossed Linear Constructions (see note for E.60.1-8-1994), using an automatic milling machine, but with White Embossing on Gray the plates were also surface inked. The plates were printed onto Roleaf, an all-rag paper specially developed for Albers to use with embossed prints.
Production
Attribution note: "In 'White Embossings on Gray' the challenge was to produce a white inked image over a coloured background. The paper was a crucial element, since to preserve the precision of the machine embossing that had been attained in the 'Engraved Linear Constructions' while adding colour, required a fine surface texture that would accept the embossing and assure crisp lines, yet have sufficient absorbency to produce a uniform unmodulated ink surface. Roleaf, the paper that was used, was developed at Gemini specifically for this purpose." [Brenda Danilowitz: The Prints of Josef Albers 1915-1976. Hudson Hills Press, New York. 2006. p.147]
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. The suite 'White Embossings on Gray' (WEG) are an extension of ideas formulated in 'Embossed Linear Constructions' made in 1969, where, through the total elimination of colour, the line partially de-materializes.

In WEG he used the same automatic engraving mill to cut the images into the printing plates, but instead of printing blind, the plates were also inked. As the achievement of a clean line under such conditions was difficult, a paper 'Roleaf' was specifically developed for Albers to use for this suite.
Associated objects
Bibliographic reference
Gerald Nordland and Kenneth Tyler, Josef Albers White Embossings on Gray Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 1971.
Collection
Accession number
E.66:10-1994

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Record createdApril 1, 2009
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