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The 73rd The Two Abstractions of Josef and Anni Albers: 30th Exhibition of Prints from the Tyler Graphics Archive Collection
September 16, 2017 - December 23, 2017
Josef Albers (1888–1976) and Anni Albers (1899–1994), his wife, both studied at the Bauhaus in Germany and, after emigrating to the United States, had a profound impact on postwar art and design through their dual roles as artists and educators.
Josef Albers, after graduating from the Bauhaus, became a professor at that institution. This continued until 1933, when the Nazi regime closed the school, spurring Josef to leave Germany for America. After an initial stint teaching at Black Mountain College, he took up a position at Yale. He proceeded to make major contributions to the development of American art not only as an educator and painter but also as a writer, most notably through his Interaction of Color, a work expounding his color theory principles. In pursuit of original painted spaces formed by interactions of color and geometric shapes, Josef Albers produced numerous works—most representative among them his series titled Homage to the Square. This body of works had a powerful impact on subsequent geometric abstract painting and graphic design.
Anni Albers was studying textile design at the Bauhaus when she married Josef, who was already a professor at the school. Together with Josef she fled to the United States in 1933, and there, while taking part in art education, she also began undertaking creative work as a textile artist. Her textiles, featuring geometrically rhythmical patterns in a vein similar to what later evolved as Op Art, garnered high acclaim, and Anni became a pioneer who elevated textile design from what had been considered an area of handicrafts to a full-fledged genre of art.
In their later years both Josef and Anni Albers chose prints as the format for their activities of creative expression. It can well be imagined that they viewed printmaking, with its systematic production process and the hard-edged, flat color surfaces and repetitions that process yields, as the medium best suited to realizing their artistic style. Josef and Anni’s artistry won the support of master printer Kenneth Tyler, who demonstrated new possibilities of artistic expression through printmaking to them—and with whom the Albers collaborated in print production. This collaborative relationship began in 1963 at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, where Tyler launched his career as a printer, and it continued at the two workshops Tyler himself created: Gemini G.E.L. and Tyler Graphics. The end product was a wealth of outstanding works that occupy a prominent place within the history of contemporary American prints.
This exhibition will feature prints created by Josef and Anni Albers during their later years, selected from CCGA’s Tyler Graphics Archive Collection. Through these works visitors will see the consummation of the Albers’ life-long pursuit of artistic expression through colors and forms. A concurrent exhibition, on modest scale, will feature graphic works of postwar Japan created through geometric abstraction, to demonstrate how Josef and Anni Albers influenced those realms.
Miyata 1, Shiota, Sukagawa-shi, Fukushima 962-0711, Japan
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:45 p.m.)
Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday), the day immediately after a public holiday (except if Saturday or Sunday).
Adults 300 Yen, students 200 Yen.
Free for young children (through elementary school), senior citizens (65 and over) and the handicapped.
DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion and Center for Contemporary Graphic Art