Segments – 1934

Josef Albers (1888-1976), Segments – 1934, Linoleum Cut.

Edition 20, 25, plus proofs; Danilowitz 79. Signed, titled, dated and annotated (proof) in pencil.

Image size 9 3/8 x 11 1/8 inches (238 x 283 mm); sheet size 11 1/8 x 14 9/16 inches (432 x 370 mm).

A fine, richly-inked impression, on cream wove Japan paper, with margins (3/4 to 1 3/4 inches), in very good condition. Printed at Black Mountain College with the artist’s original label, Black Mountain Art Week, Nov. 17- 23, 1941, completed and signed by the artist.

Collections: The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, Museum of Modern Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum (London).

Josef Albers was one of Europes most influential artist-educators to immigrate to the United States during the 1930s. Following early academic training, Albers turned in 1920 to the innovative atmosphere of the Weimar Bauhaus where he began his experimental work as an abstract artist. After three years as a student, he was hired to teach the Vorkurs, the introductory class that immersed students in the principles of design and the attributes of work materials. Albers directed his students to develop an understanding of “the static and dynamic properties of materials. . . through direct experience.” In his own work, Albers investigated color theory and composition and he began to explore mathematical proportions as a way to achieve balance and unity in his art. Yet, Albers did not approach his work from a purely intellectual perspective; he believed that Art is spirit, and only the quality of spirit gives the arts an important place in life.”
Initially an expressionist, Albers began experimenting with abstract principles and unusual materials about 1923. His sophisticated glass assemblages of these formative years explored the qualities of balance, translucence, and opacity.
Loyal to the Bauhaus throughout its moves from Weimar to Dessau, and then to Berlin, Albers association with the famed institution was the longest of any artist. In 1933, when the Nazis forced its closing in Berlin, Albers

left for America where he introduced Bauhaus concepts of art and design to the newly formed experimental community of Black Mountain College in North Carolina. After fifteen years at Black Mountain, in 1950, he became chairman of the Department of Design at Yale.
In 1949, Albers began his now famous Homage to the Square series. Always a careful craftsman, he often noted the pigments, brands, varnishes, and grounds he used as well as documenting his spatial proportions and the mathematic schemes he incorporated in each work. Although concerned with a highly formal regiment in his own work, Albers supported other approaches: “Any form [of art] is acceptable if it is true,” he stated. “And if it is true, it’s ethical and aesthetic.” As a theoretician and teacher, he was an important influence on generations of young artists.
In addition to painting, printmaking, and executing murals and architectural commissions, Albers published poetry, articles, and books on art. A major Albers exhibition, organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, traveled in South America, Mexico, and the United States from 1965 to 1967. A retrospective of his work was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1971. Albers work is held in numerous important private and museum collections throughout the United States and Europe.