October 8, 2011 - Galleria Civica di Modena - Josef Albers
October 8, 2011

Josef Albers

Josef Albers, “Homage to the Square,” 1976.
Oil on masonite.*

Josef Albers
8 October 2011–8 January 2012

Palazzo Santa Margherita and Palazzina dei Giardini
corso Canalgrande 103
41121 Modena
T + 39 059 203 2911 / 2940
galcivmo [​at​] comune.modena.it

This retrospective exhibition dedicated to Josef Albers—the largest ever to be organized in Italy, will open on 8th October 2011 in both of the Galleria Civica di Modena exhibition spaces: Palazzo Santa Margherita and the Palazzina dei Giardini. Co-produced by the Galleria Civica together with the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena, the exhibition is organized with the collaboration of the Josef & Anni Albers Foundation in Bethany, Connecticut, which—with only one exception—has lent all of the 175 works on display. Additional support has been provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art of Chicago.

The exhibition sets out to trace all the key stages of Albers’s life, from his years at the Bauhaus in Weimar, Dessau and Berlin, through to his time at Black Mountain College, Yale University and includes a comprehensive grouping of Albers’s seminal Homage to the Square paintings.

From Albers’s years at the Bauhaus, 12 works in glass produced between 1921 and 1932 will be displayed, together with 29 photographs and photocollages, a small section of woodcuts and gouaches from 1933, as well as several pieces of furniture that Albers designed at the School. With the enforced closure of the Bauhaus in 1933, Albers accepted a post at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and his move to the United States coincided with his explorations in painting using oils. Albers applied color with rigorous palette knife strokes and a selection of these early works are represented in the exhibition in addition to some 10 paintings from the second half of the ’30s and ’40s, in which Albers’s painstaking care for chromatic relationships leads to the presentation of his well known Variant/ Adobe and Homages to the Square series. The display of this latter grouping commences with Albers’s very first Homage to the Square painting executed in 1950 and goes on to showcase a chronologically organized selection of works from this series in various dimensions and colors, concluding with Albers’s last “Homage” painting, completed a few weeks before his death on March 25th, 1976. Lastly, there is a display of the seven record album covers designed for Command Records with the innovative “gatefold sleeve”—the invention of which may be attributed to the collaboration between Albers and the violinist and sound designer Enoch Light.

The bi-lingual Italian and English catalogue will be published by Silvana Editoriale. Alongside an extensive essay by the exhibition curator, Marco Pierini, the catalogue will feature an introduction by Nicholas Fox Weber, Executive Director of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, and a selection of theoretical texts by Albers many of which have never before been published in Italian. A short passage about Albers written by Wassily Kandinsky and printed in the 1934 exhibition bulletin accompanying an exhibition of Albers woodcuts at the Galleria del Milione in Milan will also be republished in the catalogue.

*Image above:
© 2011 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society, New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany.

Galleria Civica di Modena
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