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Josef Albers Art

Josef Albers (Germany, 1888-1976)

The German-born American painter, writer, and educator Josef Albers (1888-1976) was a pioneer of 20th century modernism, and an innovative practitioner of color theory. With his wife, the textile artist and printmaker Anni Albers (1899–1994), he shaped the development of a generation of American artists and designers through his teaching at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina, and later at Yale University School of Art, where he was the chairman of the Department of Design from 1950-1958. He is widely known for his series of prints and paintings Homages to the Square, which he created between 1950 and 1975. His influential volume on color theory Interaction of Color was published in 1963.


Albers was born in Bottrop, Germany, and as a young man he studied art education, earning certification from the Königliche Kunstschule in Berlin in 1915. He entered the legendary Bauhaus school in Weimar in 1920. The Bauhaus had been established by Walter Gropius in 1919, in the immediate aftermath of World War I, with the hope that its innovative curriculum would foster connections between architecture, art, and traditional crafts. In 1923 Albers began teaching the Vorkurs, the introductory class in which new students learned to work with each of the key artists’ materials, along with color theory, composition, construction, and design. Albers was a polymath, and the multidisciplinary environment of the Bauhaus was fertile ground for his artistic ambitions. When the school moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925, he became a full professor, and in addition to glass and metal, he designed typefaces and furniture. While at the Bauhaus, Albers drew inspiration from the work of his colleagues, the color theorist Johannes Itten, and the painter, photographer, and designer László Moholy-Nagy, with whom he co-taught the Vorkurs.


In 1933, the Bauhaus was shut down due to pressure from the Nazi Party, which perceived the school as being sympathetic to communist intellectuals. As Albers’ wife Anni was Jewish, the couple resolved to leave Germany, and settled in rural North Carolina. The architect Philip Johnson helped make arrangements for Albers to join the faculty of Black Mountain College as the head of the painting program, where he remained until 1949. While at Black Mountain, both Josef and Anni Albers became influential mentors to American artists including Ruth Asawa, Cy Twombly, and Robert Rauschenberg, while working alongside fellow professors Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and William de Kooning.


In 1950, joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Art where he would head the newly established Department of Design until his retirement in 1958. In the 1950s, the Alberses began taking trips to Mexico, where the colors and forms of the local art and architecture inspired both artists. In 1971, Albers became the first living artist whose work was the subject of a solo retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Though they worked in different mediums, Josef and Anni Albers’ work shares a fascination with color and geometry. Josef Albers’ compositions from the Homages to the Square series, such as Formulation: Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B), from 1972 give deceptively simple shapes a novel vibrance as colors play off of one another. The hues in Articulation Portfolio II Folder 28 (B) work in concert to give the flat surface the distinct appearance of a tunnel or other 3-dimensional space; while the form on the left appears to move towards the viewer, the form on the right seems to lead directly into the canvas. Similarly, Anni Albers’ designs for textiles use graphic design to lend a sense of dynamism to flat works. Her Study for Unexecuted Wall Hanging (Bauhaus), from 1984 is a Mondrian-like pattern for a weaving in which different colors alternately recede and advance into the foreground, giving the image a sense of complexity and uncanny depth.


Josef Albers also created works of public art, including a delicate, geometric gold leaf mural called Two Structural Constellations for the lobby of the Corning Glass building in New York City in 1959. He designed a work called Two Portals for the lobby of the Time & Life Building in 1961, in which which and brown bands move towards two square panels made of bronze. Walter Gropius invited Albers to create a piece for the Pan Am Building, which he was designing with the architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons. Albers reworked an existing glass piece from his Bauhaus days called City, and, fittingly, renamed it Manhattan.

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Variant II, from 10 variants
By Josef Albers
Located in Miami, FL
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Josef Albers Variant II, from 10 Variants 1966 Screenprint on rives BFK paper 17 x 17 in. Edition of 200 Initial in pencil, dated, numbered and titled Accomp...
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1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Announcement for Publication of I-S d
By Josef Albers
Located in Fairlawn, OH
Announcement for Publication of I-S d Screen print, 1969 Unsigned as issued Announcement prospectus for the publication of I-S d Printer: Sirocco Screen Prints, New Haven Publisher: ...
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1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation by Josef Albers 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Portfolio II, Folio 14, Image I from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition: 1000 Unsigned and unnumbered as issued Medium: Si...
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

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Screen

SP XII
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Medium: Screenprint Sheet size: 24 1/2 x 24 1/2 inches Frame size: 26 3/4 x 26 3/4 inches Printer: Edition Domberger, Germany Publisher: Edition Domberger, Germany Catalogue raisonne...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 25 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in Scarsdale, NY
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 16 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in Scarsdale, NY
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 20 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in Scarsdale, NY
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 16 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in Scarsdale, NY
A black, white, and grey silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are ...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II Folder 22 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in Scarsdale, NY
Multiple shades of brown create this silkscreen by Josef Albers from, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

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Screen

WLS XIV -- Lithograph, White Line Squares, Square, Gray by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in London, GB
JOSEF ALBERS WLS XIV, 1966 Lithograph printed in sand gray, transparent warm gray and transparent medium gray On Arches Cover paper Signed, dated, titled and inscribed artist's pro...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

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Lithograph

JOsef Albers, Formulation: Articulation, Screenprint, 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in London, GB
Silkscreen, 1972, on paper, numbered from the edition of 380, published by Galerie Beyeler, 30 x 30cm.
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage the Square (Opalescent), Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1965
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Opalescent Josef Albers, German (1888–1976) Date: 1965 Screenprint, signed, numbered, dated, and titled in pencil Edition of 85/120 Image Size: 11 x 11 inches Frame Size: 22.5 x 22.5...
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1960s Minimalist Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Homage to the Square (Set of Six Cards w/ Hand-Written Dedication from Albers )
By Josef Albers
Located in Missouri, MO
Josef Albers Homage to the Square (Set of Six Cards w/ Hand-Written Dedication from Albers ) Offset Lithographs With verso of one with hand-written dedication from the Artist 22.5 x ...
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Mid-20th Century Modern Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Josef Albers: Study on Homage to the Square, without year (sixties)
By Josef Albers
Located in Greding, DE
Inv. No. of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation: 1976.2.131 Provenance: Private collection, acquired from the estate of the artist Shown in the exhibition Malerei auf Papier. Josef ...
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1960s Abstract Josef Albers Art

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Paper, Oil

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 28 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
"Formulation : Articulation" published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned. Albers' signature appears on the title page of Por...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

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Lithograph

I-S h - German American Post War Art, Monogram Signature
By Josef Albers
Located in London, GB
JOSEF ALBERS 1888-1976 1888 Bottrop, Germany - 1976 New Haven, USA (German / American) Title: I-S h, 1971 Technique: Original Hand Signed, Titled and Numbered Screenprint on German ...
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1970s Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Yellow Spectrum
By Josef Albers
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Josef Albers's (1888-1976) iconic explorations of color and form, especially his variations of "Homage to the Square", are arguably the most important and distinctive creation of 20t...
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Mid-20th Century Hard-Edge Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

"Variant IV (From Ten Variants) by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
JOSEF ALBERS Variant IV (From Ten Variants.) Color screenprint on Rives BFK white wove paper, c.1966. Image Size: 11” x11 3⁄4” inches, full margins. Initialed by artist, titled, d...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

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Screen

Josef Albers "I-S LXXI b" Hommage to the Square
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
JOSEF ALBERS " I-S LXXI b" Color screenprint on American Etching paper, 1971 Image Size: 15” x 15” inches, full margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 65/125 in pe...
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1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Original Josef Albers "I-S VA 3 (From Six Variants)
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
JOSEF ALBERS I-S Va 3 (From Six Variants) Color screenprint on Arches paper, 1969 Image Size: 24” x 27 3⁄4” inches, wide margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 77...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation by Josef Albers 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio "Formulation: Articulation" created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square, Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

SK-Ed Screenprint in Colours German American Post War
By Josef Albers
Located in London, GB
JOSEF ALBERS 1888-1976 1888 Bottrop, Germany - 1976 New Haven, USA (German / American) Title: SK-Ed, 1972 Technique: Original Hand Signed, Titled and Numbered Screenprint on Paper ...
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1970s Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Joy
By Josef Albers
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper by German-American artist Josef Albers (1888-1976) titled "Joy", 1962. This work was issued unsigned. Limited edition: 250. ...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Hommage to the Square "GB 2" Screenprint, 1969
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
Color screenprint on German Etching paper, 1969 Image Size: 13 3/4” x 13 ¾” inches, full margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 70/125 in pencil, lower margin Printe...
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1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Josef Albers "Hommage to the Square: Tuscany", 1966
By Josef Albers
Located in Hinsdale, IL
JOSEF ALBERS "Tuscany" Color screenprint on Mohawk Superfine Bristol paper, 1966 Image Size: 11” x 11” inches, full margins Initialed by artist, titled, dated and numbered 121/200 ...
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1960s Bauhaus Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Geometric Abstract Silkscreen by Josef Albers 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation by Josef Albers 1972
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Abstract Framed Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artist...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Variant from Formulation: Articulation, Silkscreen by Josef Albers
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
From the portfolio “Formulation: Articulation” created by Josef Albers in 1972. This monumental series consists of 127 original silkscreens that are a definitive survey of the artis...
Category

1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK If
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 11 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsig...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK Ic
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK Id
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK Ib
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

EK Ia
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Portfolio: Homage to the Square: Edition Keller Ia-Ik Printer: Herbert Geier, Ingolstadt Publisher: Josef Keller Verlag, Starnberg Signed, dated, and numbered in pencil, lower margin
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Homage to the Square from Formulation: Articulation
By Josef Albers
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Josef Albers, German (1888 - 1976) Title: Portfolio I, Folio 14, Image I from Formulation: Articulation Year: 1972 Edition: 1000 Unsigned and unnumbered as issued Medium: Sil...
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1970s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

'Interim' from the series 'Graphic Tectonics' —mid-century geometric abstraction
By Josef Albers
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Josef Albers, 'Interim' from the series 'Graphic Tectonics', zinc plate lithograph, 1942, edition 30, Danilowitz 101. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered '3/30' in pencil. A fine imp...
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1940s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

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Lithograph

Interlinear K50 —mid-century geometric abstraction
By Josef Albers
Located in Myrtle Beach, SC
Josef Albers, 'Interlinear K50', zinc plate lithograph offset to stone printing, 1962, edition 20, Danilowitz 151. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered '14/20' in pencil. A superb, ri...
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1960s Abstract Geometric Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 4 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 17 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigne...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 5
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigne...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Articulation : Formulation, Portfolio I Folder 23 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Two color screenprints on a single folded sheet by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sti...
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1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio I Folder 15 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are uns...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio I Folder 19 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation Portfolio II Folder 8 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 28 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Two-color screenprints on a single folded sheet by Josef Albers from his classic work, Formulation: Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 28(A), published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and ...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 19 (B)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Screenprint by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Siillman. The individual images are unsigne...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Screen

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 19 (A)
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillman. The individual images are unsigned...
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folio 27A
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Two color screenprints on a single folded sheet by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Articulation : Formulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Stillma...
Category

1970s Contemporary Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

Formulation : Articulation, Portfolio II, Folder 7 (B
By Josef Albers
Located in New York, NY
Silkscreen by Josef Albers from his classic work, "Formulation : Articulation," published by Harry N. Abrams, 1972, and printed by Ives - Sillman. The individual images are unsigned....
Category

1970s Abstract Josef Albers Art

Materials

Lithograph

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