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Study for Homage to the Square "High Tenor"

Josef Albers

Contemporary Art

Josef Albers used abstract painting to understand how colors interact in two-dimensional spaces. This rendering of nested squares in shades of yellow and ochre is part of an experimental series of 1960s paintings and prints. Albers minutely documented these investigations in mathematical proportions and color theory, adjusting variables such as the size, number, and color of squares. Like Atta Kwami, his color work reflected cultural observations. While both Albers and past scholars foregrounded his scientific interest in color, new research has revealed the deep influence of the colors and shapes of historic Mexican art and architecture on his self-styled Homages.
MEDIUM Oil on masonite
  • Place Made: United States
  • DATES 1959
    DIMENSIONS 18 x 18in. (45.7 x 45.7cm) frame: 18 5/8 x 18 5/8 in. (47.3 x 47.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Recto: initialed and dated lower right: A 59 Verso: marked, "diminuenda" in chalk with title, signature, date, dimensions, and color notes
    COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1995.197.2
    CREDIT LINE Gift of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
    RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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    CAPTION Josef Albers (American, 1888-1976). Study for Homage to the Square "High Tenor," 1959. Oil on masonite, 18 x 18in. (45.7 x 45.7cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, 1995.197.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1995.197.2_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 1995.197.2_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION JAF #363
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