Formulation: Articulation (Portfolio II), 1972

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Certain color combinations can startle us into seeing differently. Josef Albers spent his life investigating this belief, painting countless variations to see how colors interact. After 1950, his format was always the same: squares inside squares. He used each color exactly as it came out of the paint tube, even recording the color’s name and manufacturer on the back of each artwork. This method presented a challenge when Albers, a German émigré who began his career in 1920 at the Bauhaus school in Weimar, Germany, made Formulation: Articulation, a survey of his life’s work. Now it was the early 1970s, and many more colors were available to him than earlier in his career. So, the tireless Albers, at 83, reimagined nearly every work in the book with new colors. He then worked with printers Norman Ives and Sewell Sillman—his former students—to turn them into screenprints.

Formulation: Articulation (Portfolio II)
Artist Life
American (born Germany), 1888–1976
Accession Number
William P. Kosmas, London, England (d. 2017); Estate of William P. Kosmas, Minneapolis; given to MIA, 2018.
Catalogue Raisonne
Danilowitz, Appendix C
Curator Approved

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