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Modern and Contemporary

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Homage to the Square: On Dry Ground

Josef Albers, American (born Germany), (March 19, 1888–March 25, 1976)

Creation date: 1963
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on board
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge
Accession Number: 1991.8
Dimensions: 40 1/4 in. x 40 in. (102.24 cm x 101.6 cm)

Provenance

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, New York (1963 - November 20, 1968)

Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge, La Jolla, California (November 20, 1968 - May 30, 1991)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (May 30, 1991 - )

Label Copy

Josef Albers worked on his Homage to the Square series for twenty-six years, from age sixty-two until his death. This particular painting falls at the midpoint of his engagement with this formal subject matter. Across many of Albers’s compositions, the boldness and gradation of color and the emphasis on basic geometric form make his work highly recognizable. The artist arranges his color tones within box shapes. Albers came to the United States from Germany in 1933 and brought with him design ideas associated with the Bauhaus, where he had been both a student and a teacher. He taught at Black Mountain College from 1933 to 1949 and was head of the design department at the Yale University School of Art from 1950 to 1958. Albers’s influence as a painter was rivaled by his influence as a teacher.
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October 18, 2014
Anita Feldman, Deputy Director Collections & Exhibitions
Josef Albers
American, born in Germany • 1888–1976
Homage to the Square: On Dry Ground
Oil on board • 1963
The Bauhaus in Weimar was where Albers completed his artistic education early in the 1920s, and he was one of the first Bauhaus graduates to become a master teacher at the school where he remained through its moves to Dessau and Berlin in 1933. When the Nazis forced the closure of the Bauhaus, Albers emigrated to the United States, where he taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina before becoming chair of the Design program at Yale University. Homage to the Square: On Dry Ground is one of a series of variations of the square-within-a-square that Albers made from 1950 until his death, as part of his ongoing investigation of the properties and interactions of colors.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Norton S. Walbridge
1991.8
Last Updated: 5/7/2019

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

163rd Annual Exhibition, American Oil Paintings and Sculpture Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts , 1/17/1968 - 3/3/1968

San Diego Collects Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego , 1/10/1975 - 2/24/1975

Collectors Phoenix Art Museum , 9/9/1977 - 10/16/1977

Insight: Selections from San Diego Private Collections San Diego Museum of Art , 4/23/1983 - 6/12/1983

The Walbridge Legacy The San Diego Museum of Art , 4/9/1988 - 5/29/1988

High Societies: San Diego Museum of Art , 5/26/2001 - 8/12/2001

Newman in Context , 6/29/2013 - 9/8/2013

American: Art of the 20th Century San Diego Museum of Art , 1/18/2014 - 8/26/2014

American Visions: Place and Identity The San Diego Museum of Art , 10/18/2014 - 3/17/2015

Art of the 20th Century , 3/28/2015 - 8/16/2015

Art of the 20th Century San Diego Museum of Art , 7/23/2016 - 00/00/00

OP ART - Art Alive 2022 , 4/28/2022 - 5/1/2022

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Ms. Mary Stofflet. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 179, 215, Figure Number: 215

The Walbridge Legacy San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1988
Page Number: 58

The Walbridge Legacy San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1988
Page Number: 17

Victoria Jane Ream. Art in Bloom Deseret Equity, Publishing Division. Salt Lake City, Utah, 1997
Page Number: 196, 197, Figure Number: 196

Ronald D. Hickman. Collectors Phoenix Art Museum. Phoenix, Arizona, 1977
Page Number: Cat. no. 34, Figure Number: 34

Ms. Betti-Sue Hertz. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 239, Figure Number: 239

Mr. Bill Brown. Personal Views: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2006
Page Number: 18, Figure Number: 18

Marks

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