Exhibition Jose Albers: minimal means, maximum effect in the Foundation Juan March
Exhibition Josef Albers in the Foundation Juan March
Under the title Josef Albers: minimal means, maximum effect finds the first retrospective dedicated in Spain to the figure of Josef Albers (1888 - 1976). The exhibition Juan March is organized by the Foundation and it is composed by more than one hundred of works and other pieces like furniture, diverse objects, photos and documentary material. The sample has been possible thanks to the collaboration during the last years of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation (Bethany, Connecticut). It is possible to meditate in the head office of Madrid of the foundation from the last March 28 until July 6, 2014.
Josef Albers was born in Bottrop, Westfalia, Germany on March 19, 1888 and died in the United States on March 25, 1976. Artist and teacher of art developed its activity in Germany until in 1933 it had to emigrate to the United States in consequence, fundamentally, to the ascent of the national socialism (Nazi). I continue with its educational and artistic work in American grounds creating some of the most influential educational programs of the XXth century.
Its first artistic beginnings arise after having knowledge of the work of Cezanne, Mondrian and Matisse, in the first years of the XXth century, and experimenting with the pictorial abstraction emulating these three big geniuses.
After its step along different schools and academies of art, it begins to be part, in 1920, like teacher of the mythical Bahaus, founded by Waler Gropius. School of design that develops its activity in Weimar, later in Dessau and finally in Berlin (1932-1933), until under the pressure of the Nazi he has to throw the closing. After this slamming it emigrates to the USA. It begins to be employed at the faculty of Black Mountain College, a center of avant-garde and experimentation, of the most important of the XXth century. From 1950 until 1958, Albers directed the Department of Design of the University of yale, in New Haven (Connecticut).
Albers has been known like abstract painter. But its theoretical essays on the color and the form have gone down in history Art history for its big formative value. Homage captured these theories in a series to the square that started in 1949 and developed for several years (going so far as to realize nearly two thousand works). It is a question of a composition departing from the geometric figure of the square and its repetition in different let's toll and colors. It plays with the concentric disposition of the square inside the picture and the chromatic interaction.
Josef Albers has the honor of been credit the first living artist in exhibiting in Metropolitan Museum of New York.
Its big legacy was extracting the divided maximum using a few limited resources. A legacy that the Bahaus, Miers van der Rohe answers to the maxim well-known and transmitted by one of its partners in: "Less it is more».
To distribute the material possessions
it is to divide them
to distribute the spiritual possessions
it is to multiply them
The Foundation warns us that this exhibition, in spite of its retrospective character, is not a simple chronological trip for its work. The conductive thread is the consideration of the work of Josef Albers like a coherent project and with a simplicity will in the productive use of means and resources intentionally limited; as well as a respect to the manual work and the enfatización in the experimentation with the color that will end in the materiality of a work of poetical and spiritual suppressed high place.
The exhibition explores in the artistic work and in the pedagogic, theoretical and practical work of Josef Albers. We can meditate from its first figurative drawings up to the main series at which the teacher was employed during its career: Variant/Adobe, Constellations (structural Constellations) and the famous Homage to the Square (Homage to the square). Also there is exhibited a series of objects that provide an extra cost. As its famous armchair 244 who praises what then will be the philosophy of a big commercial mark (Swede for more signs) that devotes himself to the sale of dismantled domestic equipment. One finds mounted and also dismantled as if it was these toys Montaplex that one has had the opportunity to have between its hands. They complement this one separated publications, writings and photo of the proper artist.
Its innumerable geometric drawings attract attention. It is a question of flat figures, but that with added of the color turn into velvety surfaces. Albers was feeling passion for the color, up to such a point that has a series of engravings in target, what named skill of gofrado (something like predominance of the line as relief, creating a figure without use of any color).
Albers was slightly more than an artist. This way they should have understood it in Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York when in 1971 they dedicate a retrospective exhibition. It is the first one that the museum dedicates a living artist. Albers will transfer to the institution thirteen paintings and eight engravings. The art manages, in his words, «the miracle of distributing material possessions, but without reducing them, but multiplying them». It was seeming to be conscious of that distributing its works for all the museums, an artist multiplies, expanding its legacy, its stamp for the whole world.
Once again, the foundation Juan March, does not save in means, although in these times they are limited, has been able to create a beautiful work in its reasoned catalog. There are goods valued to who we devote ourselves to study in depth the art history. And they are much we appreciate for who we love the books and to obtain with them the possibility of taking you to house a piece of the exhibition, a piece of Josef Albers although it is only with the possibility of having access (in Castilian) of the theoretical writings that are its dogmatic body and that constitute the thickness of its theory, its education, which comes to reinforce this double condition of the artist: pupil and teacher. There is evident the special fondness that takes the Foundation as the publications. In this occasion the catalog there gathers 57 Albers texts, 26 of unpublished them and 53 translated ones for the first time to the Castilian, according to words of the president of the Foundation Juan March, Manuel Fontán, who lives hotly through the putting length that supposes every opening. I am useful to remember the enormous effort that they have done in the Foundation to digitize all the publications and to put them at the disposal of the public in general, not only for its consultation but for its discharge. Here also we can speak of «minimal means, maximum effect».
The artist and particularly the poet, is always anarchistic, without he c listen to other voices than those that flow inside himself, three strong voices: the voice of the death, with all its predictions; the voice of the love and the voice of the art.
Federico García Lorca
Quoted by Nicholas Fox Weber in the introductory study of the catalog edited by the foundation Juan March.
More information in Magazine Atticus 25 (May, 2014) or in the Foundation Juan March.
Filed file: Exhibitions
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